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

Schmitz joined Marketplace in 2010. He's covered a range of topics in China, from labor conditions to education to the rise of consumerism. In 2011, he provided Marketplace’s sole coverage from Japan in the days following the earthquake and tsunami, reporting from the hardest-hit areas near the failing Fukushima nuclear power plant. In 2012, he exposed the fabrications in Mike Daisey’s account of Apple's supply chain on This American Life and his report was featured in that show’s much-discussed "Retraction" episode. The work was a finalist for the 2012 Investigative Reporters and Editors award. In 2012, he and Marketplace Education Correspondent Amy Scott won the national Edward R. Murrow award and an award from the Education Writers Association for their investigative series on college agencies that place Chinese students at U.S. universities.

Prior to joining Marketplace, Schmitz 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, Schmitz 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.

Schmitz has received many honors and awards including: 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 (2002); Golden Mics 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); a national Edward R. Murrow award (2012); finalist, Investigative Reporters and Editors award (2013). In 2011, the Rubin Museum of Art screened a short documentary Schmitz shot in Western China.

Schmitz has a Master’s degree from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota-Duluth. He speaks Spanish and Mandarin Chinese. He served two years as a Peace Corps volunteer in Zigong, Sichuan Province, China.

A native of Elk River, Minn., Schmitz 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



Would Chinese investment in the U.S. encourage hiring?

At the World Economic Forum, the premier of China said that opening up American markets to more Chinese investment would create jobs in the U.S.
Posted In: China

With high unemployment, young Chinese get creative

Unemployment in China is estimated at around 20 percent. But many recent college graduates are now opting out of low paying jobs, and delving in entrepreneurship.

Environmental report in China targets Apple, suppliers

A leading environmental group in China has released a report accusing Apple product manufacturers of polluting waterways.
Posted In: apple

China's ties to Gaddafi mean it could lose out in Libya

China's stake in Libya was threatened when the rebels began fighting against the Gaddafi regime. Now that the transitional government has taken over, Chinese leaders hope to gain back some economic ground in the country.
Posted In: China

China's energy crisis takes spark out of some businesses

In the midst of its worst energy crisis in years, China has told some companies to expect rolling blackouts through the summer. That's making it hard to do business.

In China, signs translated into English baffle

With rising tourism, more Chinese signs are translated into English, often inaccurately. Some call the resultant puzzling hybrid "Chinglish."
Posted In: China

China: Stuck with its addiction to U.S. debt

Shanghai's Pudong district...built with help from the purchase of US debt. Officially, the response from China's government to...
Posted In: China, credit rating, downgrade, Standard & Poor's

Hitachi and Mitsubishi sitting in a tree...

Shares of Japanese companies Hitachi and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries surged today after reports surfaced that the two companies were planning to merge. The union would create one of the world's largest companies.

Labor too expensive? Get a robot

Chinese factory owner Foxconn assembles iPads and iPhones and has now announced that in the next few years it will replace a portion of its workforce -- with robots.
Posted In: Science, apple

Chinese billionaires chip in to protect environment

Project would be China's first private nature reserve, to protect a fifth of the world's Giant Panda population
Posted In: China


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