Rob Schmitz
Schmitz rob
China Correspondent

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. 


Twitter: rob_schmitz

More from Rob Schmitz


Urban Desert: Empty homes in Ordos

No need to look both ways here. Few people have moved into Ordos's new city, which is built to house the population the size of Pittsburgh's.
Rob Schmitz / Marketplace

Boomtime on China's grasslands

Mongolian newlyweds wearing traditional garb in front of their modern possession: a new Porsche Cayenne. Many here are partaking in the riches of a booming economy built on coal and natural gas.
Rob Schmitz / Marketplace

Toyota to produce Prius in Thailand

Toyota Prius hybrid model cars at a Toyota dealer in Hollywood, Calif.
Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images
A Chinese bank teller counts 100 yuan notes at a bank in Shanghai
Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images

China may reduce rare earth exports

A flag flies near an oil reserve base on the seashore in Ningbo of Zhejiang Province, China.
Feng Li/Getty Images
The Chinese flag flutters in the wind.
John MacDougall/AFP/Getty Images

Attracting the Chinese consumer

Sweaters at a Gap store in Shanghai.
Rob Schmitz/Marketplace