JPMorgan Chase & Co. CEO Jamie Dimon Wednesday warned "uncertainty" caused by the Chinese government could hurt investor confidence at home and abroad, and said the U.S. and China need "real engagement" on security and trade issues.
Dimon is on his first visit to China since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and his first since he joked in 2021 that JPMorgan will outlast China's Communist Party, sparking outrage in China and prompting him to express regret.
"If you have more uncertainty, somewhat caused by the Chinese government . . . it’s going to not just change foreign direct investment. It’s going to change the people here, their own confidence to invest," Dimon said in an interview with Bloomberg TV.
The world's second-largest economy is emerging from three years of pandemic lockdowns, but the recovery has been uneven. China's factory activity shrank faster than expected in May on weakening demand, according to data released on Wednesday.
A two-year long crackdown on the technology sector has also led to some uncertainty about business prospects in the country. China has since eased the crackdown and stepped up support for private companies.
Dimon, who has in recent years boosted JPMorgan's China presence, also said that he favors East-West "derisking" rather than decoupling.
"Let's not try to decouple. Let's not try to hurt China, the Chinese people," he said at the three-day JPMorgan Global China Summit in Shanghai.
"I liked the fact that Janet Yellen, Secretary of Treasury, President Biden, the National Security Adviser, and Secretary of State have been talking about derisking," Dimon said.
The CEO of the biggest U.S. bank said the countries' disputes over security and free and fair trade issues are all "resolvable."
"You're not going to fix these things if you are just sitting across the Pacific yelling at each other. So I'm hoping we have real engagement," Dimon said.
The communist party chief of Shanghai shook hands with Dimon on Tuesday, telling him the city hoped the bank would continue to promote investment in the financial hub by international financial institutions.
However, expansion in China is not all smooth sailing and is taking longer than the U.S. bank anticipated.
"It will be a longer journey than we would wish to gradually build up scale and reputation to do business," its China CEO Mark Leung said in a Bloomberg interview on Wednesday.
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