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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GM hopes to double Chinese car sales by 2015

General Motors continues to target China as its newest growth market. GM will debut the new Chevrolet Malibu at the Shanghai Auto Show this week, and will introduce 60 new and upgraded models there over the next five years.
Posted In: Auto
0

Home Depot not a hit in China

The U.S. chain closes several stores in China, where do-it-yourself home projects aren't popular.
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Disney to break ground on Shanghai theme park

The Walt Disney Company will begin construction on Shanghai Disneyland tomorrow. And the park is expected to capitalize on existing demand for Disney products in China.
Posted In: Entertainment
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In China, paying others to sweep ancestors' tombs

Today is the annual tomb-sweeping holiday in China, when, traditionally, people clean family tombs. But some Chinese are paying others to do the job.
Posted In: China
5

Google tests fate in China after multiple shutdowns

Analysts expect Google Maps is the next application to be banned in China, following a block of the search engine and its e-mail service by the government.
Posted In: China
5

Japanese supply chain's missing links

Japan's earthquake and tsunami disrupted the supply chains of hundreds of companies. Business in the U.S. have been affected too.
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China steps in to fill Japan supply chain

Manufacturing companies worldwide are responding to changes in the supply chain after the Japan tsunami. Now, many Chinese companies want to fill in the production gaps, a move that could cost Japan billions of dollars.
Posted In: Auto
2

U.S. aid to Japan may help improve ties between nations

Japan's government is estimating this month's earthquake and tsunami could cost as much as $309 billion, more than twice the cost of Hurricane Katrina. And the U.S. military is spending a lot trying to help.
1

Japan tourism hit by earthquake, nuclear leak

Tourism brings billions of dollars annually to Japan, but many visitors are staying away after the recent earthquake, tsunami and nuclear leak.
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Japan power company has troubled history

Even before the earthquake and tsunami hit Japan, the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant was already one of the most trouble-prone facilities in the country. But as problems continue, many look to plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Company's questionable history.

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