JPMorgan Chase & Co. JPM,
According to a video seen by The Wall Street Journal, CEO Jamie Dimon told viewers that he made a joke about his bank kicking out of the Communist Party in Hong Kong.
“I was just in Hong Kong and I joked that the Communist Party was celebrating its hundredth year. So is JP Morgan. I bet you that we last longer,” Dimon said in the video.
“I can’t say that in China. They’re probably listening anyway,” he said with a laugh, The newspaper reported on Wednesday,
Dimon recalled the moment Tuesday at an event at Boston College in response to an audience question about doing business in China.
“I’m sorry and I shouldn’t have made that comment,” Dimon said on Wednesday. “I was trying to emphasize the strength and longevity of my company.”
Dimon traveled to Hong Kong last week. There the bank has 4,000 employees.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian avoided a question about Dimon’s remarks at a daily news conference in Beijing. and dismissed its media reports as an attempt to attract readers.
Dimon’s visit to Hong Kong marked his first visit there since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. He did not undergo the three-week hotel quarantine that most arrivals from the US have to meet, sparking controversy. But Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam defended the decision to exempt Dimon.
A JPMorgan spokesperson told the newspaper that the company remains committed to China, and Dimon knows it “should not speak lightly or in a derogatory manner about another country or its leadership.” Dimon also said he supports constructive economic dialogue with China, the spokesman said.