JP Morgan Chase chief Jamie Dimon apologized to the Chinese Communist Party on Wednesday.
“I regret and should not have made this comment,” Dimon said in a statement released by the bank Wednesday morning. “I was trying to highlight the strength and longevity of our business.
JP Morgan Chase is the largest US bank in terms of assets, with more than $ 3.6 trillion. Dimon is one of Wall Street’s longest-serving CEOs and the longest-serving head of America’s biggest banks. He is often outspoken about economics and politics, but crossing over into the Chinese Communist Party was apparently a step too far.
The apology follows remarks made by Dimon the day before at the Boston College Chief Executives Club. Dimon had spoken of his bank’s attempts to expand its commercial presence in China.
“We hope to be there for a long time,” Dimon said. “The Communist Party is celebrating its 100th anniversary. JPMorgan too. And I’ll make you a bet we’ll last longer.
This prompted a reaction from Chinese Communist Party officials. Overnight, the bank’s government relations team met with its Chinese team to repair the damage.
Companies feared Dimon’s remarks would hamper the bank’s efforts to expand into China. Earlier this year, JPMorgan received approval to fully own its securities business in China, a rare license in a country where foreign companies are typically required to partner with state-linked domestic companies.
Asked for comment at a regular press briefing on Wednesday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian accused Dimon of seeking attention at China’s expense.
“Is it really necessary to quote such remarks that are just to get people’s attention?” Zhao said.
Hu Xijin, editor-in-chief of the Communist Party World time newspaper, published on its extremely popular Weibo account: “I bet the Chinese Communist Party will survive in the United States of America.
Hu shouldn’t apologize for the remark.
A speaker from Fudan University with over a million followers appeared to point out the idea that Dimon’s remarks could threaten his independent operating license: “Looks like JPMorgan doesn’t want his newly acquired license. . He also said Dimon was “quite arrogant.”
China’s huge population and relatively underdeveloped financial sector have long proven to be an irresistible draw to American banks and financial services companies. Often, however, attempts to expand into China have ended in a setback for US companies when state-linked Chinese companies enter a sector or strengthen their US partners, often using techniques and know-how. learned from American companies. Quite regularly, Chinese companies replacing American companies are staffed with employees who previously worked for American companies.