JPMorgan chief becomes first Wall Street boss to visit larger China during pandemic

Jamie Dimon, chairman and chief executive officer of JPMorgan Chase, said he was “unaffected by geopolitical headwinds” upon arriving in Hong Kong on Monday, becoming the first boss of an investment bank. Wall Street giants visit larger China since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

Dimon’s visit coincided with a virtual meeting between US President Joe Biden and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping on Monday, as the two leaders will try to mend relations amid concerns about Beijing’s military activity near Taiwan and its arsenal. the country’s growing nuclear arsenal.

“I am optimistic that they will draw up reasonable plans,” Dimon said in a meeting with the Financial Times.

He added that spending time in Hong Kong, where the bank’s Asia-Pacific headquarters are located, was “very important”. “I came earlier. . . It is very important to me to see who we are,” he said.

Dimon, who the bank said went to the Chinese territory to “thank staff” for their work during the pandemic and to meet with regulators, is being exempted from the quarantine policy. strictness of the city. This is his first visit to Hong Kong in two and a half years.

Visitors from the United States must quarantine in a hotel for 21 days at their own expense. However, the Hong Kong government has allowed a small number of financial executives to visit ignore the rules.

Isolation policy, already criticized by global banks operating in the city, “it becomes more difficult to attract and retain talent,” says Dimon.

Wall Street banks have faced criticism from American politicians over their business practices in China. They are accused of having financial ties to companies affiliated with the Chinese Communist Party and for downplaying human rights concerns, such as Beijing’s crackdown on Muslim Uighurs. in Xinjiang or persecute pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong, for lucrative profits.

JPMorgan becomes the first global bank get approval from Beijing to take full control of its securities business in mainland China in August. It has also launched wealth and wealth management businesses.

Dimon will only spend 32 hours in Hong Kong. He will meet about 4,000 JPMorgan employees in the territory in a virtual “town hall” format because of coronavirus restrictions. He is going from Hong Kong to London this week.

JPMorgan marked its 100th year in China this year. “One hundred years later, the world is a very different place, but the importance of this relationship is only increasing,” the bank said to mark the centenary.

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