JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon has issued an apology after making a joke about the Chinese communist party. Clearly cowed by the power of the Chinese government, Dimon issued a swift apology for a joke he had made during a speech at the Boston College Chief Executives Club.
“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,” the New York Times reported him saying.
He added: “I can’t say that in China. They are probably listening anyway.”
On Wednesday, Dimon issued an apology for his remarks.
“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,” Dimon said, per the Times. “Speaking in that way can take away from constructive and thoughtful dialogue in society, which is needed now more than ever.”
A spokesperson for JPMorgan Chase said that Dimon, who was in Hong Kong last week, “acknowledges he should not speak lightly or disrespectfully about another country or its leadership.”
Zhao Lijian, the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said Dimon had the “right attitude” in issuing the apology, praising him for the swiftness of his remarks.
“I noted the reports about how the individual involved has sincerely reflected,” said Zhao. “I think this is the right attitude. I hope the media involved will stop hyping this issue.”
In August, the Chinese regime granted JPMorgan Chase permission to assume full control of a securities business, making it the first foreign company operating on Chinese soil to be offered the privilege. Other foreign entities are subservient to Chinese state control when operating their businesses on the mainland.
As the Daily Wire reports, multiple U.S. 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 praised China for liberalizing its markets in a letter to the Biden administration, urging the president to strengthen its business ties to China.
“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.
American companies and even celebrities intent on expanding their influence in China have been increasingly careful not to trigger the ire of the notoriously fickle Chinese government to remain in its good graces.
NBA player and Nike-sponsored athlete LeBron James took up the defence of the Chinese government against criticism from then-general manager of the Houston Rockets Daryl Morey over the Chinese regime’s suppression of pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong.
“Yes, we all do have freedom of speech,” said James, reported Insider, “but at times, there are ramifications for the negative that can happen when you're not thinking about others, and you're only thinking about yourself.”
“I don't want to get in a word sentence feud with Daryl Morey, but I believe he wasn't educated on the situation at hand, and he spoke. And so many people could have been harmed, not only financially, but physically, emotionally, spiritually.”
The NBA also moved to ban “FreeHongKong” custom apparel from being created on its website, Rebel News reported.
Few athletes have been willing to speak out against the Chinese government’s treatment of the Uyghurs, Hong Kong protesters, and Tibetans aside from Boston Celtics center Enes Kanter, who ripped into James for his hypocrisy.