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JPMorgan CEO Apologizes After Mild Joke About Chinese Communist Party
Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon apologized after making a joke about the Chinese Communist Party.

The New York Times reported:

At the Boston College Chief Executives Club on Tuesday, Mr. Dimon relayed a recent joke he had made comparing the longevity of the multibillion-dollar bank and China’s ruling party. “I made a joke the other day that the Communist Party is celebrating its 100th year,” he said at the event. “So is JPMorgan. I’d make a bet that we last longer.”

He added: “I can’t say that in China. They are probably listening anyway.”

On Wednesday, the executive issued an apology, according to the New York Times:

“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,” Mr. Dimon said. “Speaking in that way can take away from constructive and thoughtful dialogue in society, which is needed now more than ever.”

The spokesman for the bank said that Mr. Dimon, who was in Hong Kong last week, “acknowledges he should not speak lightly or disrespectfully about another country or its leadership.”

A spokesman for the Chinese government said on Thursday that Dimon had the “right attitude” in issuing the apology.

“I noted the reports about how the individual involved has sincerely reflected,” said foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian. “I think this is the right attitude. I hope the media involved will stop hyping this issue.”

In August, Chinese authorities granted JPMorgan Chase permission to assume full control of a securities business — the first foreign company to be offered such an opportunity. 

Around the same time, multiple business lobbies — including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Business Roundtable, the National Retail Federation, the American Farm Bureau Federation, and the Semiconductor Industry Association — referred to China’s financial market liberalization in a letter to President Biden requesting that the White House strengthen Sino-American economic ties.

“The commitment by China to open up its markets to U.S. financial institutions — and other U.S. financial service providers — reflects a hard-won U.S. achievement, and years of work by administrations of both parties,” the letter said.

Indeed, major American businesses, industries, and celebrities have been expanding their activities in China to reap the benefits of its large and rapidly-growing consumer economy. As a result, they are extraordinarily careful to remain in the Chinese Communist Party’s graces.

Earlier this year, actor John Cena apologized on Chinese social media for referring to Taiwan as “the first country to see ‘Fast & Furious 9’” during efforts to promote the film — challenging the Chinese regime’s rejection of Taiwan as an independent state.

“Hi China, I’m John Cena. I’m in the middle of Fast and Furious 9 promotions. I’m doing a lot of interviews. I made a mistake in one of my interviews. Everyone was asking me if I could use Chinese — [movie] staff gave me a lot of information, so there was a lot of interviews and information,” Cena said in Chinese. 

“I made one mistake. I have to say something very, very, very important now. I love and respect China and Chinese people. I’m very, very sorry about my mistake. I apologize, I apologize, I’m very sorry. You must understand that I really love, really respect China and the Chinese people. My apologies. See you.”

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