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

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China slams U.S. politics, but can't remove itself from the American economy

China owns nearly $1.2 trillion of U.S. debt. And with worries over a default or credit downgrade, why doesn't China stop investing in the U.S. economy?
Posted In: China
3

Chinese bullet train disaster clouds future sales

Public outrage erupted in China after a deadly crash between two high-speed trains this past weekend
Posted In: China, Transportation
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U.S. bondholders in China still waiting for a deal

China, the second biggest holder of U.S. debt after the Federal Reserve, isn't in panic mode yet as Washington continues to struggle over a deal that would raise the debt ceiling.
Posted In: China
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Building a better 'Made in China' reputation

A Chinese company helping to build part of the new Bay Bridge in San Francisco hopes to change U.S. perceptions about China's construction quality
Posted In: China
1

Copyright violator Xunlei going public in U.S.

The Chinese video-streaming website Xunlei provides access to billions of stolen songs, movies and TV shows. Despite violating U.S. law, the company is planning to IPO on the American market.
Posted In: Investing
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Apple eyes deal with world's largest wireless provider

China Mobile has 600 million users -- and reports are that those users may soon be able to buy an iPhone
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Some American companies do better than others in China

Ford Motors and Yum! Brands are posting banner years in China, a sign that those American companies are delivering products that the Chinese people want.
Posted In: China
2

Thamestown: A little piece of England in China

On the outskirts of Shanghai, a mock-English village has much charm but few residents. Is it a speculative real estate venture gone awry?
Posted In: China
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China urges U.S. to protect investor interests

The top holder of U.S. debt is pushing politicians to protect the interests of investors after the ratings agency Moody's warned of a possible downgrade to U.S. debt.
Posted In: China
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Yao Ming's exit may impact the NBA's second-largest market

The NBA could be on the verge of losing one of its largest fan bases -- China. The country's favorite basketball player, Yao Ming is set to retire and that would have huge implications for the $2.3 billion market.
Posted In: Sports

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