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

Schmitz has won several awards for his reporting on China, including two national Edward R. Murrow awards, an Education Writers Association award, and his work was 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, Schmitz 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, 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.

Among the honors Schmitz 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 Schmitz shot in Tibet.

Schmitz 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., 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. 

 

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Features by Rob Schmitz

Apple finds underage labor in its Chinese supply chain

The report on supplier responsibility from Apple indicates progress on working conditions and excessive overtime requirements at the tech giant's Chinese suppliers, including its largest supplier, Foxconn. But the report also revealed one supplier was employing child workers.
Posted In: Foxconn, apple, China, factory, The People Behind Your iPad

The Street of Eternal Happiness: China's sandwich generation

A look at China's 'sandwich generation,' Chinese people in their 30s who carry the burden of caring for both their children and their parents. Being stuck in the middle is intensified for China's 30-somethings because they're typically only children and because of the historical arc of China's economy, they have almost nothing in common with their parents.
Posted In: sandwich generation, China

China's economic growth drops to 13-year low

The world's fastest growing economy just posted it's worst growth figures in over a decade. Is it time to be concerned?
Posted In: China, China's Economy, GDP, Gross Domestic Product (GDP)

Is China's Huawei a threat to our national security?

The Chinese telecommunications equipment company is the largest in the world, but it struggles to gain a foothold in the U.S. Lawmakers say it's a threat to national security.
Posted In: huawei, China

Dangerous air pollution levels hit Beijing

Air quality in China's capital this weekend was at levels judged hazardous to health. Authorities fear environmental concerns could spark social instability.
Posted In: China, air pollution, Beijing

Beijing's bad air quality has an economic impact

Air pollution in Beijing over the weekend was 40 times worse than limits set by the World Health Organization and it has economic implications for China
Posted In: air quality, pollution

The Street of Eternal Happiness: China's 'Mad Men'

In the latest stop on the Street of Eternal Happiness in Shanghai, a profile of an advertising agency's journey through the lucrative and challenging China market.
Posted In: China, advertising, commercials

Japan's new prime minister faces challenges

Newly-elected Prime Minister Shinzo Abe faces the tasks of reviving Japan's economy and handling strained relations with China.
Posted In: Japan, China, Shinzo Abe, elections

Leader of China plans economic reforms

China’s new leader Xi Jinping has only been in office a month, but he’s already turning heads.
Posted In: China

GM eyes Southeast Asia car buyers

Auto giant GM sees a lucrative market among Southeast Asia's growing middle class and plans to tackle Japanese automakers' regional domination.
Posted In: Auto, GM, China

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