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

Report: Pollution way up in Chinese cities

The downside to China's rapid growth of the past few years: a rise in air pollution. A Chinese government report shows over 100 Chinese cities had the worst pollution levels in five years.

Why China's government can write off $200B in bad loans

Chinese banks have made loans totaling more than a trillion dollars to local governments throughout that country. But a central government audit shows 20 percent of that money may never be paid back.

Baidu still beats Google in China's search war

Chinese Internet search giant Baidu reported quarterly profits that more than doubled, thanks in part to the engine's ability to gobble up Google's market share.
Posted In: Internet

China is a material world

Kai Ryssdal talks to Marketplace's China correspondent Scott Tong and new correspondent Rob Schmitz about how the 2010 World Expo reflects the growing consumer culture of China.

China stops subsidizing polluting industries

The Chinese government withdrew its subsidies from some the country's most energy-intensive industries to stop paying polluters and also to show the world that it's economy is stable enough to make the withdrawal.
Posted In: Environment

Lackluster growth eases some of China's economic concerns

New numbers indicate China's economic growth has slowed slightly, indicating the country's efforts to cool down its economy are working.
Posted In: Investing

Google taking it easier with China

After months of a very publicized fight with the Chinese government, Google softened its approach to the Chinese government -- but they may still give up millions of users.
Posted In: Internet

Clean-techs get cold feet going public

Electric automaker Tesla Motors will soon become the first carmaker since Ford to go public. The firm is one of a first crop of clean-tech companies that are trying to go public. But a bunch of clean-tech start-ups have canceled at the last minute. Why? Rob Schmitz reports.
Posted In: Auto

Tax proposal to up cash in Superfund

The Environmental Protection Agency said it supports a bill that would reinstate taxes on the oil and gas industry to pay for the Superfund program. That's the pot of federal money that was set up 30 years ago to clean up the worst hazardous waste sites. Rob Schmitz reports.
Posted In: Taxes

Chinese firm first to sponsor World Cup

If you catch a World Cup game on TV, keep your eyes on the billboards circling the field. Rob Schmitz noticed something new in between the Adidas and McDonald's signs: the World Cup's first Chinese sponsor.

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