Chief Executive of JPMorgan Chase & Co Jamie Dimon was in Hong Kong for a whirlwind 32-hour visit sans quarantine, an exception that leader Carrie Lam justified Tuesday by emphasizing that he leads a “very big bank.”
“From what I understand, the reason is finance [related]. After all, it is a very big bank with key business in Hong Kong,” Lam said during a press conference, adding that the risk of the quarantine-free trip is “completely manageable.”
According to Bloomberg, Dimon arrived in Hong Kong Monday to meet staff and thank them for their dedication during the pandemic. It is the CEO’s first visit to Asia in two and a half years.
In a meeting with reporters, Dimon conceded that Hong Kong’s tough COVID-19 restrictions—which many say chip away at the city’s status as a global financial center—does “make it harder” for the business to retain talent.
Flying in from the US, the Wall Street boss would otherwise have had to complete a 21-day quarantine in a designated hotel. He left Hong Kong Tuesday.
Dimon’s visit came two weeks after the city announced that it would be scrapping quarantine exemptions for most top business executives, diplomats and other groups that had previously been allowed to skip quarantine.
In August, actress Nicole Kidman’s quarantine exception drew backlash, with lawmakers questioning whether all Hollywood stars would be excused from the government’s strict COVID-19 policies.
Kidman was in Hong Kong to film “Expats,” an Amazon series about the high life of expatriates living in the city.
Hong Kong has recorded new COVID-19 cases in the low single digits the past six months, a vast majority of them imported. The last locally detected case was in early October, involving an airport cargo worker who was fully vaccinated.