Chinese state-owned companies covertly acquire Italian drone maker

In September 2021, the Guardia di Finanza, the Italian financial crimes police, placed six managers of a Alpi Aviation, an Italian drones manufacturer, under investigation over the sale of their company to two Chinese state-owned enterprises. The BBC reports that Alpi Aviation produces military grade drones for NATO. The six managers oversaw the sale of 75% of the shares in Alpi Aviation to a Hong Kong-based firm that acted as a front for a complex web of corporations that ultimately led to the Management Committee of Wuxi Liyuan Economic Development Zone and to the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council (SASAC), the body responsible for managing Chinese state-owned enterprises. The sale was potentially in breach of Italian investment screening and arms control legislation. Following the sale, Alpi Aviation had plans to move its drone production to a technology hub in Wuxi, 135km west of Shanghai.

About This Incident

Threat Actors: China
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Incident Metadata

Date: 2018 - September 2021
Country: Italy