JPMorgan CEO Dimon walks back China quip

Dimon said during an interview at Boston College on Tuesday that he would make a bet that the investment bank will outlive China's Communist Party

JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon is walking back remarks he recently made about the Chinese Communist Party

"I made a joke the other day that the Communist Party is celebrating its 100th year - so is JPMorgan," Dimon said during an interview at Boston College on Tuesday. "I’d make a bet that we last longer." 

"I can’t say that in China," he added. "They are probably listening anyway." 

Jamie Dimon, chief executive officer of JPMorgan Chase & Co., poses for a photograph on the sidelines of the JP Morgan Global China Summit in Beijing, China, on Wednesday, May 8, 2019. Photographer: Giulia Marchi/Bloomberg via Getty Images (Getty Images)

On Wednesday, Dimon said he regrets and should not have made the comment.

"I was trying to emphasize the strength and longevity of our company," he added.

A JPMorgan spokesperson emphasized that Dimon "acknowledges he should not speak lightly or disrespectfully about another country or its leadership" and "strongly supports a constructive and detailed economic dialogue with China." 

JAMIE DIMON SAYS HE WOULD BET JPMORGAN WILL OUTLIVE CHINA'S COMMUNIST PARTY

The reversal comes after Dimon made a visit to Hong Kong last week, his first since the COVID-19 pandemic began. During the 32-hour visit, Dimon stirred up controversy when he was able to skip quarantine after being granted an exemption by the Hong Kong government. Visitors typically are quarantined in a hotel for two to three weeks at their own cost. 

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
JPM JPMORGAN CHASE & CO. 158.29 -2.92 -1.81%

Recently, Dimon has looked to expand the investment bank's business in China. In March, JPMorgan announced a 10% stake in China Merchant Bank's wealth management unit. JPMorgan also received approval from the China Securities Regulatory Commission in August to become the first full foreign owner of a securities brokerage in the country.

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The Chinese Communist Party comments are not the first remarks that Dimon has walked back. 

In September 2018, Dimon said he would be able to beat then President Donald Trump in an election. He also said that he was just as tough and smarter than Trump and that his own wealth was earned, not given to him by his father. He later walked back the comments and clarified that he was not running for president. 

According to the Wall Street Journal, Dimon said during his interview at Boston College that while he detested "a lot of things Trump said", he felt that the former president was right about China when it comes to problems such as intellectual property and bilateral investment rights.   

"He got the support of the business community because it was time to do something about it," Dimon added. "But what we need is a very detailed strategic economic dialogue including trade and all those other things, away from foreign policy."

However, Dimon also said that the Chinese "look at us now as kind of the incompetent nation," and joked that America "can’t get out of its own underwear," citing the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol as an example.