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

China's record-smashing car sales could run into cloud of pollution

The big auto show in Detroit is underway and the hottest car market is China.
Posted In: China cars

China rolls out plan to clean its air - will it work?

China has some of the worst smog in the world – impacting the lives of more than a billion people as well as the bottom line for the world’s second biggest economy.
Posted In: China, air pollution, coal

Shanghai residents can finally get their hands on a PS4

After 14 years, China is lifting its ban on foreign video game consoles in its Shanghai free trade zone.
Posted In: China, video games, Shanghai

On paper, China's trade surpasses U.S. - but let's get real

The Chinese media is reporting the value of China’s global trade has overtaken the United States to become the world’s largest trading economy. It’s another milestone for China. But if you take a good look behind the numbers, the claim begins to fall apart.
Posted In: China, trade

China tells party officials to stop smoking in public

For decades, sharing cigarettes has been common practice for China’s government officials. But president Xi Jinping is cracking down on smoking to revamp the party’s image.
Posted In: China, smoking, cigarettes

"A communist party casino" - Despite the lift of IPO ban in China, investors remain unhappy

China has announced it will lift a one-year ban on new stock listings in the new year. The market for initial public offerings was frozen by China’s government in late 2012 in attempts to reform a trading system deemed too risky. Traders in Shanghai aren't encouraged.
Posted In: China, IPO

China in 2013: A last resort for justice

Marketplace's China Bureau Chief Rob Schmitz looks at China's struggles in 2013.
Posted In: China

A year in China: bad air, bad debt

This was the year of "forced transparency" in China, exposing bad debt and bad pollution.
Posted In: China, bad debt, air pollution

China Mobile: Merry Christmas, Apple

Ever since Apple released the iPhone six years ago, it’s been trying to gain access to largest pool of telephone subscribers on the planet. -That would belong to China Mobile, which has 760 million customers. Christmas has arrived early for Apple. The two companies finally reached a deal to sell iPhones to this untapped market.

Apple's Chinese Christmas gift

Last night, Apple and China Mobile signed a long-awaited deal to sell iPhones to this pool of nearly a billion new customers.
Posted In: apple, iPhone, China

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