Sensing that it will be invite the ire of Chinese authorities , J.P. Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon apologised after joking that his financial behemoth will outlast Chinese Communist Party.
“I was just in Hong Kong, I made a joke that the Communist Party is celebrating its 100th year. So is JPMorgan. And I’ll make you a bet we last longer,” he said during speech at Boston College on Tuesday (Nov 23).
“I can’t say that in China. They probably are listening anyway.” Dimon added in an apparent dig at communist regime turning China in to a surveillance state.
Realising that the remarks on China may not go down well with the Chinese regime, Dimon beat a hasty retreat.
In August, J.P. Morgan became the foreign financial institution to secure permission from Chinese regulators to take full and independent ownership of its securities business. The bank has nearly $20 billion of exposure to Chinese market and has ambitions to expand further.
“I regret and should not have made that comment. I was trying to emphasize the strength and longevity of our company,” Dimon said in a release.
“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,” he said in a statement.
“Speaking in that way can take away from constructive and thoughtful dialogue in society, which is needed now more than ever.” he added.
Global financial institutions thread carefully when dealing with a Chinese regime.
In Jun 2019, Paul Donovan of UBS Global Wealth Management was suspended after he wrote in an research report that an outbreak of swine flu in China only "matters if you are a Chinese pig [or] if you like eating pork in China". Though Donovan was clearly referring to the impact of swine fever on inflation and consumer prices of pork. it prompted a hige backlash with one Chinese firm suspending all business with UBS.
In Aug 2019, the CEO OF British-backed Cathay Pacific - Hong Kong's biggest airline - was forced to quit over his perceived sympathises to pro-democracy protests in the territory.
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