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

Rob has won several awards for his reporting on China, including two national Edward R. Murrow awards and an Education Writers Association award. His work was also 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, Rob 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, Rob 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, Rob 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 Rob 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 Rob shot in Tibet.

Rob 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., Rob 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

China Goes Home

There's a lot to think about when you're standing in line for two days. And, by and large, you're more willing to talk to a foreign reporter abou...
Posted In: China

U.S. businesses see 'impressive financial results' in China

The political relationship between the U.S. and China may be on the rocks with China's undervalued currency and the trade imbalance. But this relationship doesn't necessarily reflect the opinion of U.S. businesses in China, as Rob Schmitz reports.
Posted In: China

Update: Wuxi's Land Grab

A month ago, I blogged about the case of Ding Hongfen, a woman in the Yangtze Delta city of Wuxi. Her family was forced out of their home to make...
Posted In: China

Need a Year's Supply of Soy Sauce? It'll Cost You

Sam's Club arrived in Shanghai a couple of weeks ago. It's the US retailer's fifth store in China--30,000 square meters of bulk-everything. My wi...
Posted In: China, Retail, sam's club

China's yuan trades in the U.S. for the first time

For the first time, China's largest state bank is allowing its customers to trade its currency in the United States. And it has some people talking about the Yuan becoming a global currency. Rob Schmitz explains.

Growing coffee in China's tea country

Tea has been an intrinsic part of Chinese culture for thousands of years, but with more urban Chinese demanding coffee, more tea farmers in China's tea-growing regions are also growing coffee.
Posted In: Agriculture, China

Leaves of Wrath

It doesn't take an economist to figure out why farmers whose families have grown tea for generations in China's Pu'er region are now dropping eve...

Chinese officials propose a property tax to fight potential bubble

Until recently, Chinese homeowners didn't have to pay annual property taxes. But the government fears there's a property bubble, and to fight it, residents of Chongqing will begin paying property taxes.

China's death toll from smoking could triple over the next two decades, says report

According to a new report, China's annual death toll from smoking could triple over the next two decades. 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: Food


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