Italian authorities are cracking down on the increasingly powerful Chinese community in Tuscany, with searches of Chinese-run factories, nightclubs and community groups that resulted in clashes this week that drew the ire of China's foreign ministry.

Several people were injured in clashes Wednesday outside a factory near Florence where workers tried to prevent Italian health inspectors from entering. Riot police were called in after members of the Chinese community, including the leader of a self-styled vigilante group, descended on the scene.

On Friday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said the Chinese embassy and consulate in Italy had lodged a complaint with Italy, "urging it to carry out civilized law enforcement and fair investigation" while protecting the rights and safety of Chinese citizens in the country.