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JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon joked that his bank would outlast China’s Communist Party. Now he would like to take that back

November 24, 2021, 2:01 PM UTC

JPMorgan Chase & Co. Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon said he regrets making a quip that his bank is likely to outlast China’s Communist Party

“I regret and should not have made that comment,” Dimon said in a statement from the bank Wednesday. “I was trying to emphasize the strength and longevity of our company.”

Dimon made the remarks while speaking Tuesday at a panel discussion at the Boston College Chief Executives Club, where he touched on his company’s commitment to China in wide-ranging comments. 

“We hope to be there for a long time,” Dimon said of China on Tuesday. He relayed a “joke” he made during a recent visit to Hong Kong: “The Communist Party is celebrating its 100th year. So is JPMorgan. And I’ll make you a bet we last longer.”

With nearly $20 billion of exposure in the world’s second-largest economy—and big ambitions to expand even further—the U.S. bank has a lot riding on maintaining cordial relations with a government that’s sensitive about anything that might be construed as questioning its legitimacy.

Members of the New York-based bank’s government-relations team and China offices had internal discussions about Dimon’s remarks after he spoke on Tuesday, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Earlier this year, JPMorgan won approval from Chinese regulators to fully own its China securities venture—a sign that U.S. financial firms are forging ahead with plans to expand in the country despite tensions between the world’s two largest economies.

One of the few posts about the comment on Weibo, China’s Twitter-like social-media platform, came from Shen Yi, a lecturer in Fudan University who has more than 1.5 million followers. “This guy is really quite arrogant,” Shen wrote. He later added: “Looks like JPMorgan doesn’t want its newly acquired license.” 

Hu Xijin, editor-in-chief of the Communist Party’s Global Times newspaper, posted on his Weibo account, which has 24 million followers: “I bet the Chinese Communist Party will outlast the United States of America.”

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