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 land grab in the Chinese countryside

Cities across China are racing to modernize with urban features like high-rise apartments and performing arts centers. Residents on the outskirts are angry that they're driven from their homes and given little reimbursement to aid their move into the city.
Posted In: Housing

They Took My House, Then My Husband

There's a dark side to China's amazing economic growth. 43 year-old Ding Hongfen is one of millions who remind us of it. Ding lives in Wuxi, a ci...

Trick or Treat...or Duck Meat

Shanghai is a city where many popular Western holidays are celebrated by both its substantial foreigner population and many locals, albeit with s...

Nobel Peace Prize? Blah. Here's a Bundle of Cash.

As more Chinese become filthy rich, there are more complaints about the 100 RMB bill. The bank note is China's largest paper denomination, and it...

Chinese exports reached a new high in November

Rob Schmitz reports China's exports are up a third over last year, and imports are even higher. but this may not be a good thing.

Question Beijing's Numbers? So Does Beijing.

Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang(photo courtesy Chinatoday.com) As a reporter in China, you're presented with a lot of numbers. A routine...
Posted In: China, rob schmitz

U.S. and South Korea's free-trade agreement and the effect on automakers

The U.S. and South Korea have reached a deal on free-trade. Now attention turns to automakers, and how this agreement could affect them. Rob Schmitz explains.
Posted In: Auto

A burst in the Chinese housing market would benefit the U.S.

Some home prices in Shanghai and Beijing are on-par with lofts in Manhattan. We've already seen what a U.S. housing bubble does to the global economy. But what about a Chinese bubble? Rob Schmitz explains.
Posted In: Housing

China cracks down on pirating

For years, U.S. companies have complained the Chinese government looks the other way when vendors pirate American goods. But now, Beijing has unveiled details about a new crackdown on intellectual property theft. Rob Schmitz reports.

Inflation, rising food prices, hit Chinese pocketbooks

Even rice prices have skyrocketed in the China. Economists suspect that the Chinese government is not publicly recognizing inflation to avoid dealing with uneven income distribution in the country.
Posted In: Food

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