Rob Schmitz is Marketplace’s China correspondent, based in Shanghai.

Rob has won several awards for his reporting on China, including two national Edward R. Murrow awards and an Education Writers Association award. His work was also a finalist for the 2012 Investigative Reporters and Editors Award. His reporting in Japan — from the hardest-hit areas near the failing Fukushima nuclear power plant following the earthquake and tsunami — was included in the publication 100 Great Stories, celebrating the centennial of Columbia University’s Journalism School. In 2012, Rob exposed the fabrications in Mike Daisey’s account of Apple’s supply chain on This American Life. His report was featured in the show’s “Retraction” episode, the most downloaded episode in the program’s 16-year history.

Prior to joining Marketplace, Rob was the Los Angeles bureau chief for KQED’s The California Report. He’s also worked as the Orange County reporter for KPCC, and as a reporter for MPR, covering rural Minnesota. Prior to his radio career, Rob lived and worked in China; first as a teacher in the Peace Corps, then as a freelance print and video journalist. His television documentaries about China have appeared on The Learning Channel and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

Among the honors Rob has received for his work: the Overseas Press Club Scholarship (2001); The Minnesota Society of Professional Journalist award (2001); the Scripps Howard Religion Writing Fellowship (2001); the International Reporting Project Fellowship (2002); the National Federation of Community Broadcasters award (2002); Golden Mic awards from the Radio and TV News Association of Southern California (2005 and 2006); the Peninsula Press Club award (2006); the ASU Media Fellowship, (2007); the Abe Fellowship for Journalists, (2009); the Education Writers Association (2011); finalist, Investigative Reporters and Editors award (2013); two national Edward R. Murrow awards (2012 and 2014). In 2011, the Rubin Museum of Art screened a short documentary Rob shot in Tibet.

Rob has a master’s degree from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism and a bachelor’s degree in Spanish from the University of Minnesota-Duluth. He speaks Spanish and Mandarin Chinese. He’s lived in Spain, Australia, and China. A native of Elk River, Minn., Rob currently resides in Shanghai, a city that’s far enough away from his hometown to avoid having to watch his favorite football team, the Minnesota Vikings. Sometimes, he says, that’s a good thing. 



Features by Rob Schmitz

Seeking better healthcare, Russians look to China

The tiny Chinese bordertown of Hunchun has 49 hospitals catering to Russians.

China bets big on border town with Russia, North Korea

China invests billions into Hunchun, along the Russian and North Korean border.
Posted In: China, border, Russia, North Korea

Leaders of China, Taiwan to meet: Why it's important

Leaders of the two countries haven't met since the birth of modern China in 1949.
Posted In: China, Taiwan, negotiations, Xi Jinping

In China's coal country, 100,000 lose their jobs

The mass layoff threatens the social fabric of a region where growth is faltering.
Posted In: China, coal, employment

'You can't report here': doing journalism in China

The challenges for foreign correspondents in the People's Republic are growing.
Posted In: China, journalism, reporter
A mother carries her son on a street in Shanghai.

Will the end of China's one-child rule help the economy?

A look at what two-child families means for the country.
Posted In: China, children, global economy
China is trying to use some...creative methods to get people to care about the country's 13th five-year plan.

Bizarre, campy song explains China's 13th 5-year plan

China's propagandists outdo themselves with song dedicated to centralized economy.
Posted In: China, Music, news

The changing tastes of China's consumer class

Chinese consumers are looking beyond KFC and Pizza Hut for dining experiences.
Posted In: China's Society, China, yum brands, Food

Why China won't be joining the TPP... for now

The world's second-largest economy has been quietly watching from the sidelines.
Posted In: TPP, Trans-Pacific Partnership, China
The town square of Chongli, which will host the alpine events at the 2022 Olympics. Since the announcement that China would host the 2022 Games, the town, population 120,000, has been flooded with investors who are buying up property hoping to cash in on

Olympic Village: A Chinese ski town becomes a boomtown

But homes and a farming village in the way will be wiped off the map to make room.
Posted In: China, Olympics, tourism


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