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

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

The environment comes out ahead from Xi-Obama summit

President Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping have wrapped up their California summit. The big breakthrough of the summit wasn’t on cybersecurity or trade, but on climate change.
Posted In: China, Xi Jinping, Obama, climate change

Getting to know all about you: Obama and Xi meet

President Obama is set to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping today in California. The leaders' first meeting will likely cover topics ranging from North Korea to cybersecurity and trade. Also on the docket? Getting to know each other.
Posted In: China, Xi Jinping, cybersecurity

Trade spat between China and EU threatens exports of solar panels, wine

A day after the EU Trade Commission placed anti-dumping duties on Chinese solar panels, the Chinese government has launched an investigation into doing the same on EU wine exports to China.
Posted In: China, Europe, solar, wine

Xi-Obama Summit: The sticking points between the world's two largest economies

It'll be President Obama's first visit with Chinese leader Xi Jinping since he took power in March. China Correspondent Rob Schmitz breaks down what's working — and not working — between the world's two biggest economies.
Posted In: China's Economy, China, Barack Obama

Jailed for capitalism on the Street of Eternal Happiness

A box of letters traced back to the Street of Eternal Happiness reveals one family's struggle after the Mao revolution. The husband was jailed for practicing capitalism. His wife was left behind to take care of their seven children.
Posted In: China, capitalism

Will adding subway lines save Beijing from traffic and smog?

Beijing has announced it will add 50 miles of subway track by the end of next year, making the city's subway system bigger than New York's. But will the new additions alleviate the city's notorious traffic and pollution?
Posted In: China, Beijing, pollution, smog, Transit

Shanghai smog: Life in a polluted city

Marketplace's Rob Schmitz tells Kai what it's really like to live in smoggy, hazy Shanghai, masks and all.
Posted In: smog, air pollution, China's Environment

Chinese protesters oppose petrochemical plant in Kunming

In the latest series of 'not in my backyard' or NIMBY protests in China, hundreds took to the streets in Kunming to oppose a petrochemical plant.
Posted In: China's Environment, China, protests

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