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



An opportunity in China's 5-year plan

Communist Party leaders in Beijing wrapped up closed-door meetings where they laid out the country's 12th five-year plan that will start next year. You heard right, that old Communist chestnut, the five-year plan. China's unbridled capitalism has the tendency to make people forget it has a planned, socialist economy. Rob Schmitz reports.

Attracting the Chinese consumer

It used to be that Western companies can go to China and be successful just by being themselves. But Chinese consumers are becoming choosier -- and how a company caters to Chinese tastes (or not at all) determines who successful they'll be in the coveted Chinese market.

Moody's may raise China's bond rating

Bond ratings agency Moody's is reviewing China's government bond rating for a possible upgrade. Rob Schmitz reports.

For you, my friend, a special price

It's an accepted fact that as a foreigner in another country, you may get taken advantage of. The "foreigner price" may a price you can take or you can always walk away. Not always the case with businesses operating in foreign countries.
Posted In: Retail

Is it wise for China to buy Europe debt?

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao is on a week-long tour of Europe. His first stop was Greece, where the premier promised China would continue to buy Greek bonds -- a morale booster for a country suffering under a mountain of debt. China bureau chief Rob Schmitz talks the details with Steve Chiotakis.

China: House's bill violates WTO rules

The House passed legislation to penalize China for manipulating its currency. If passed into law, it would allow the U.S. government to levy tariffs on countries like China that undervalue their currencies, making their goods cheaper than American products. What's the reaction in China? Rob Schmitz reports.

Chinese billionaires hesitant to attend fundraising dinner

American billionaires Warren Buffet and Bill Gates are hosting a fundraising dinner for China's richest, but RSVPs so far have been slow to come. Marketplace's Rob Schmitz reports on why the Chinese elite are hesitant.
Posted In: Charity

A move to stop China chain run from jail

GOME, China's largest appliance chain, is being run from inside a jail cell. The company's founder is serving a 14-year sentence for insider trading and graft, but he's still calling the shots. But GOME shareholders are meeting to change that. Rob Schmitz reports.

China slowing flow of goods to Japan?

Shipping companies in Asia say China has tightened the flow of goods from its ports to Japan. Rob Schmitz reports.

A black market for mooncakes in China

China's mid-Autumn Festival and its tradition of eating mooncakes has lent itself to an underground economy worth billions.
Posted In: Crime, Food, Travel


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