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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

A raft of weak economic data out of China

Industrial output, fixed asset investment, retail sales, you name it: all slipped the first two months of the year, defying expectations. But we've seen this before.
Posted In: China, Chinese economy

Troubling economic data from China indicates slowdown

Troubling signs indicate the world’s second largest economy isn’t recovering
Posted In: China, global economy

Preparing for China's urban billion

If current trends hold, the number of people living in Chinese cities is expected to hit one billion within the next 15 years.
Posted In: China growth, Chinese economy, urbanization

Missing flight threatens popular tourist route

Malaysian Airlines flight 370 could complicate tourism to Southeast Asia.
Posted In: Malaysia Airlines, MH370

China's stake in Ukraine

In order to feed its people, China is investing lots overseas to bolster its food supply. So far, Ukraine has been an attractive option. Large swaths of farmable land in the former Soviet republic have drawn the attention of Chinese companies looking for new places to cultivate grain and cattle. In fact China signed a $10 billion trade deal with Ukraine.

And China is now Ukraine's second-biggest trading partner. Plus, China is already Ukraine's largest military customer and is investing heavily in Ukraine's infrastructure.

Hot Pot: The meal of China's consumer class

American fast food chains are doing well catering to China's new consumer class.
Posted In: China, Chinese food, hot pot

Why China is lowering the bar on its growth

China chases 7.5 percent economic growth, less pollution, and Internet banking.
Posted In: China, National People's Congress

House of Cards is a huge hit in China

China allows a show about U.S. corruption to breach the "Great Firewall."
Posted In: China, netflix, house of cards

China's take on Twitter, Sina Weibo, plans Wall Street IPO

Chinese Internet company Sina Corporation plans to raise $500 million for its initial public offering. But analysts say Sina’s timing could be way off.
Posted In: Weibo, China, Sina Weibo IPO

Look out Wall Street: Here comes Sina Weibo

Weibo, the social network that has transformed the way young Chinese share information, now has plans to go public in the U.S.
Posted In: Weibo, Wechat, China

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