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 move to stop China chain run from jail

GOME, China's largest appliance chain, is being run from inside a jail cell. The company's founder is serving a 14-year sentence for insider trading and graft, but he's still calling the shots. But GOME shareholders are meeting to change that. Rob Schmitz reports.

China slowing flow of goods to Japan?

Shipping companies in Asia say China has tightened the flow of goods from its ports to Japan. 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: Crime, Food, Travel

China carmaker may buy into GM's IPO

After going bankrupt and getting bailed out by the U.S. government, GM may now sell a stake of its company to China's largest state-owned automaker, SAIC. The company has reportedly expressed an interest in buying GM shares for the company's IPO later this fall. Rob Schmitz reports.
Posted In: Auto

China, Japan spar over small islands

China has threatened "strong countermeasures" if Japan doesn't release a Chinese boat captain detained by the Japanese nearly two weeks ago for sailing near a chain of islands in the East China Sea that both nations lay claim to. What's the big fuss over these little islands? Rob Schmitz reports.

Doubt on China's forced auto ventures

A story in the Wall Street Journal reports that China's government is considering plans to force foreign automakers to share cutting-edge electric vehicle technology if they want to continue manufacturing in China. Rob Schmitz reports auto industry experts say they don't believe it.
Posted In: Auto

Game pits homeowners v. demolishers

It's the Chinese version of eminent domain -- government seizing private property. And it's becoming more common. So much so, there's now an online video game devoted to it. Rob Schmitz reports on the popular Chinese game that pits angry homeowners against an evil demolition crew.

China pledges foreign biz policy change

At the World Economic Forum opening ceremony, China Premier Wen Jiabao made an unusual move for a Chinese leader. He admitted that some of China's policies are making it hard for foreign businesses in China, and vowed to change that. Rob Schmitz reports.

Cali seeks help from China on rail

On a trade mission to China last weekend, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger laid out a proposition to his Chinese counterparts: invest some of that extra cash you have into California high-speed rail. Rob Schmitz reports.

USW wants probe of China's clean tech

U.S. Steelworkers plan to file a complaint with the Obama administration, demanding investigation into China's clean tech policies. The union blames China of illegally subsidizing its own domestic wind energy and solar panel companies that, in turn, they say, creates an unfair playing field. Rob Schmitz reports.

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