JPMorgan CEO says he ‘truly regrets’ joking that firm would ‘last longer’ than China’s communist party

·2-min read
JPMorgan CEO says he ‘truly regrets’ joking that firm would ‘last longer’ than China’s communist party

The CEO of JPMorgan Chase & Co has said he “truly regrets” joking that his firm will “last longer” than China’s communist party amid criticism from Beijing.

Jamie Dimon was addressing an event for CEOs in Boston last week when he said he had been in Hong Kong, China, and where “The Communist Party is celebrating its 100th year”.

He allegedly told the Boston College: “So is JPMorgan. I’d make a bet that we last longer.”

Shortly after, Mr Dimon said on Wednesday that he regretted comparing the bank and China’s ruling communist party, amid apparent criticism for his remarks from Beijing.

As the Financial Times reported, Mr Dimon had been in Hong Kong the week before, and was the first Wall Street CEO to be allowed into China without isolating in more than 20 months.

JPMorgan is among a number of US banks seeking to do business in China despite concerns about human rights and restrictions on free speech – and competition with the US.

“I regret and should not have made that comment,” Mr Dimon was reported as saying on Wednesday. “I was trying to emphasise the strength and longevity of our company”.

“I regret my recent comment because it’s never right to joke about or denigrate any group of people, whether it’s a country, its leadership, or any part of a society and culture,” Mr Dimon added in another statement on Wednesday.

“Speaking in that way can take away from constructive and thoughtful dialogue in society, which is needed now more than ever.”

Mr Dimon appeared to acknowledge last week that his comparison was controversial and said at the Boston College event that “I can’t say that in China”, and added: “They are probably listening anyway.”

A Chinese official reportedly dismissed Mr Dimon’s remarks as a “publicity stunt,” according to The New York Post.

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