Italians must retain control of sensitive data, such as their personal finances or health conditions, and prevent an undemocratic country like China from gaining access, Italian Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini said on Monday.
Salvini made the comment in response to a question about U.S. action against Chinese telecoms equipment group Huawei.
Speaking to La7 television, League leader Salvini said: "China is not a democracy and has a certain spirit of imperialism and control." He added that the Chinese government held sway over its state companies.
"Italians' sensitive data must remain in Italian hands."
In relation to a memorandum of understanding signed between Italy and China, Salvini said international alliances and security were a separate matter from initiatives taken to support domestic companies.