Share this on Twitter Share this on Facebook Share this on LinkedIn Share this on Sina Weibo Share this on Wechat Share this on LinkedIn The Strix-DF Mini unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). Credit: Alpi Aviation With its wide, curved wing, the Strix unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) looks, at first sight, like an expensive boomerang. In fact, it's a drone that the Italian air force once used for airborne reconnaissance in Afghanistan. It’s made by Alpi Aviation, a northern Italy-based manufacturer whose products also include helicopters and light aircraft. A new ‘secret’ about Alpi has now emerged: It’s become Chinese. In early September, Italian financial police referred six people — three Italian and three Chinese — to prosecutors for allegedly arranging the sale of 75 percent of Alpi Aviation to two Chinese state-owned enterprises in secret in 2018, for 4 million euros. Alpi’s executives allegedly failed to notify the Italian government of the sale for two years, even though domestic companies involved in the armaments industry are required to seek government permission to negotiate — let alone complete — a sale to non-E.U. buyers, under Italian law. Subscribe or login to read the rest. Subscribers get full access to: Exclusive longform investigative journalism, Q&As, news and analysis, and data on Chinese business elites and corporations. We publish China scoops you won't find anywhere else. A weekly curated reading list on China from David Barboza, Pulitzer Prize-winning former Shanghai correspondent for The New York Times. A daily roundup of China finance, business and economics headlines. We offer discounts for groups, institutions and students. Go to our Subscriptions page for details.