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

China and America play nice, discuss foreign direct investment deal

Cybersecurity and Edward Snowden received most of the attention at high-level U.S.-China talks this week. Also high on the agenda? Foreign direct investment.

American author takes aim at Chinese concept of 'Leftover Women'

American Joy Chen's book 'Do Not Marry Before Age 30' has become a hit in China, where traditional society labels unmarried women in their late 20s 'leftover women.'
Posted In: China, marriage, women

In China, a replica of Manhattan loses its luster

The port city of Tianjin has taken on billions of dollars of debt building a city that looks exactly like Manhattan. It hopes to become one of the financial centers of the world. But China's economy is slowing down, and developers and investors are pulling out of the project.
Posted In: China, Yujiapu

Chinese law requires adults to visit their aging parents

Critics say the new law is unnecessary. They suspect China's state pension fund is running low on money and the government is passing the buck.
Posted In: China, pension funds, Social Security, family

Will China bring its 'shadow banks' out of the shadows?

Chinese markets have been on a roller coaster ride ever since the government froze lending between banks last week to combat so-called 'shadow banking'. Where does the world's second biggest economy go from here?
Posted In: China, Xi Jinping, credit crunch

Markets continue to fall in China after lending freeze

The key stock index in Shanghai fell 5.3 percent today. The loss, the worst in 4 years, comes after China’s central bank froze lending between the country's financial institutions last week.
Posted In: China, stock market, banking

Why China's credit crunch is our problem

China is feeling a credit crunch, after China’s central bank froze lending between China's financial institutions this week.
Posted In: China, credit

Chinese carbon pollution: Buy or sell?

China launches a new pilot carbon market in the southern city of Shenzhen. Carbon cap and trade schemes have had a hard time getting off the ground in other countries. Can China make it succeed?
Posted In: China, carbon credits, carbon market

Tales from a Shanghai job fair: Why China's college grads, employers mismatched

The scale of China's higher education system has developed so fast, the country fails to produce graduates who have the right skills for companies operating in China.
Posted In: China, college grads, college graduate

Beijing reacts to allegations the NSA is hacking China

Allegations that Hong Kong and China were among tens of thousands of targeted networks by the NSA have generated a big reaction in Beijing and among China's state-run media.
Posted In: China, nsa, Edward Snowden, PRISM

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