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JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon in Paris in June 2021. Photo: Michel Euler/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon walked back a recent critique of the Chinese Communist Party on Wednesday, saying he regrets joking that the bank will outlast the party in China.

Driving the news: Speaking at the Boston College Chief Executives Club Tuesday, Dimon noted that JPMorgan's Chinese operations and the CCP were both celebrating their 100th year anniversary in 2021 and said he would bet that the bank would outlive the party, according to Bloomberg.

  • "The Communist Party is celebrating its 100th year. So is JPMorgan. And I’ll make you a bet we last longer,” Dimon said, recalling a joke he told on a recent trip to Hong Kong, per Bloomberg.
  • "I can't say that in China. They are probably listening anyway," he added.

What they're saying: “I truly 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 in a statement issued by the bank.

  • "Speaking in that way can take away from constructive and thoughtful dialogue in society, which is needed now more than ever," he added.

Of note: Dimon warned on "Axios on HBO" last month that global companies must be selective about issues in China that they publicly dive into, even ones as stark as China's treatment of Uyghurs.

  • "We do business in 100 countries," Dimon told Axios CEO Jim VandeHei. "But I've made it very clear: We believe in human rights. We believe in free enterprise. We believe in the capitalist system. That's all counter to China."

The big picture: JPMorgan has been operating in China since 1921 and has branches in Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Harbin, Suzhou and Shenzhen.

  • It recently gained approval from Beijing to become the first foreign owner of a securities brokerage in China, according to Reuters.

Go deeper: JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon on China, his salary and racial equity

Editor's note: This story has been updated with a new statement from Jamie Dimon released by JPMorgan.

Go deeper

D.C.-Beijing tensions are shifting markets

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

U.S. markets stand to lose $2 trillion in value if D.C. and Beijing drift further apart.

Why it matters: Political chasms are showing up in new securities regulations that put companies and investors in a bind. The rules are also another reflection of how much relations between the world’s largest economies have cooled, even as they remain economically interdependent. 

New Zealand aims to create smoke-free generation with tobacco ban

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern at a December news conference in Auckland, New Zealand. Photo: Phil Walter/Getty Images

New Zealand officials announced Thursday legislative plans to outlaw smoking by making it illegal to sell or supply tobacco products to the next generation as part of a lifetime ban.

Why it matters: "People aged 14 when the law comes into effect will never be able to legally purchase tobacco," Associate Health Minister Ayesha Verrall said in a statement announcing the proposed law, part of the Smokefree 2025 Action Plan.

FDA approves AstraZeneca COVID drug for people with immune problems

Photo: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Food and Drug Administration issued an emergency use authorization for an AstraZeneca COVID-19 antibody drug for people with compromised immune systems.

Why it matters: The drug, Evusheld, is the first antibody therapy authorized in the U.S. to prevent coronavirus symptoms before virus exposure.

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