May 20, 2019 / 8:59 AM / a month ago

Italy's Salvini says China cannot be in control of sensitive data

Italy's Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini holds a rosary as he gestures, during a major rally of European nationalist and far-right parties ahead of EU parliamentary elections in Milan, Italy May 18, 2019. REUTERS/Alessandro Garofalo

MILAN (Reuters) - 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.

Reporting by Valentina Za; Editing by Mark Bendeich

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