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. 



Features by Rob Schmitz

A new Chinese program will allow users to keep lucky cell phone numbers

In China, where many people pay a premium for an auspicious number combination, changing your number can bring bad luck. China's government announced a solution: a pilot project that will allow Chinese to keep their phone numbers even if they change carriers. Rob Schmitz reports.

Is there a housing bubble in China?

Kai Ryssdal talks to Marketplace's Rob Schmitz about whether a housing bubble -- and a housing crisis -- is possible in China.
Posted In: Housing

Commercial Aircraft Corporation will deliver 100 jetliners

A Chinese airplane company has announced it'll deliver 100 orders for commercial jetliners. The Commercial Aircraft Corporation is trying to beat out Boeing's popular 737 and the Airbus A320 for the skyrocketing air travel market in China. Rob Schmitz explains.

G20 summit was not the "battle royale" people expected

Leaders of the world's 20 strongest economies rang the closing bell on their annual summit. For a while, it looked like the main event in South Korea was going to be the currency spat between the U.S. and China, but in the end, the underdog issues won over. Rob Schmitz has more.

China and the U.S. are vying for approval at the G20

World leaders from the 20 richest countries will meet tomorrow in South Korea for the G20 summit. Rob Schmitz is with us from Shanghai to sort it all out.

The Dalai Lama can have a profound impact -- on the economy

Wherever he goes, the Dalai Lama, has an impact. Many who attend his events say they feel enlightened by his presence. But Tibet's exiled spiritual leader leaves a profound economic impact, too. Rob Schmitz reports.

Trying to keep up in China's grasslands

Just because Inner Mongolia is booming from all the coal and oil in the region doesn't mean that everyone's winning. Some of the former herders in the area are adapting to new jobs, but others just aren't sure what to do.

Urban Desert: Empty homes in Ordos

China has begun conducting it census, and economists are interested in how many properties sit empty. It's a problem in the northwest city of Ordos, in Inner Mongolia province, where parts of the city are completely vacant. Why all the empty houses? Rob Schmitz reports.

Boomtime on China's grasslands

Inner Mongolia was once one of the poorest areas of China. Not anymore. The Inner Mongolian city of Ordos now has the highest per capita GDP of any city in China. This rags-to-riches story has come to symbolize the rapid development of a nation as a whole. But it's come with some growing pains. Rob Schmitz reports.

Trademarks prevent Chinese contract bids

Europe wants to convince Beijing to allow more foreign companies to bid on Chinese government contracts -- a tough task for Europe, and the U.S. Rob Schmitz reports.


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