Jennifer Pak

Correspondent, China

SHORT BIO

I tell stories about the world's second-largest economy and how America is connected to it.

What was your first job?

First unpaid job: mascot for the Canadian Red Cross as Bloody the Blood Drop at a football game. First paid job: at a mall making and selling cinnamon rolls for Cinnzeo, the Canadian equivalent of Cinnabon.

What do you think is the hardest part of your job that no one knows?

The hardest thing is persuading potential interviewees in China to speak to us. We have to explain that we are not out to get them in trouble with the Chinese government, that we don't pay for interviews nor do we accept payments for positive coverage.

What advice do you wish someone had given you before you started this career?

Be somewhat physically fit. You never know when you'd have to run from a mob situation, run from a flood scare while carrying heavy equipment or avoid government minders.

Fill in the blank: Money can’t buy you happiness, but it can buy you ______.

A pair of comfy walking shoes, a hot shower and a good mattress.

Latest Stories (115)

China passes national security law for governing Hong Kong

Some fear that the new law will take away freedoms that make Hong Kong the only real global financial center in China.
Chinese authorities repeatedly said the law is aimed at a few "troublemakers" and not investors, but people are nervous.
Isaac Lawrence/AFP via Getty Images

In China, chasing debt after the COVID-19 lockdown

Jun 23, 2020
Delayed payments are a normal part of doing business in China. That works OK when the economy is bustling — but not anymore.
A recent survey showed 66% of Chinese firms had clients delay payments last year. Then the pandemic hit.
Charles Zhang/Marketplace

China's big savers weather pandemic uncertainty

Jun 16, 2020
The communist government is not handing out cash to struggling workers. Many have to depend on themselves.
Zhang Lei manages an entertainment center in Shanghai, and for four months, he was not sure whether he would still have a job or not.
Charles Zhang/Marketplace

China's forced-out workers

Jun 3, 2020
Chinese workers complain that shortened hours or being told to resign are layoffs by another name.
Masked workers labor at a factory in China.
Barcroft Media via Getty Images

How pandemic-shuttered campuses can reopen

May 27, 2020
The Shanghai campus of New York University has resumed classes, but the environment and learning process are different.
A student at NYU's Shanghai campus sits alone in the library. Fewer seats are available, reflecting the school's effort to maintain social distancing.
Jennifer Pak/Marketplace

QR codes and dramatic vistas: tips for traveling during the pandemic

May 15, 2020
Traveling will look very different during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Tourists at Mount Cangshan in China's Yunnan province undergo temperature checks and QR code scans before entering the park.
Jennifer Pak/Marketplace

China's first holiday break since COVID-19 sees 60% drop in tourism revenue

There are still many virus prevention measures that deter people from traveling.
Businesses are being held responsible for screening virus carriers. If an outbreak happens, they could get shut down.
Hector Retamal/AFP via Getty Images

A Shanghai postcard: life after the COVID-19 economic shutdown

Apr 27, 2020
With masks, fever checks and health QR codes, there are signs that the coronavirus still poses a threat to daily life.
Marketplace's Jennifer Pak on a hike three hours outside of Shanghai. Before departing, she had to make sure she could return to the city without being quarantined.
Jennifer Pak/Marketplace

COVID-19 tests the limits of online schooling tech in China

Apr 21, 2020
Among the challenges: How do you teach gym class to students stuck in tiny apartments?
Ada Lu chats with her classmates in online group discussions every day but she hasn't seen them in person for more than two months and misses playing with her friends.
Charles Zhang/Marketplace

A small Chinese business survives COVID-19 shutdown. Now what?

Apr 17, 2020
The Chinese economy virtually stopped for nearly two months. One clothier is barely hanging on while life slowly returns to normal.
Small shops shuttered in a main shopping area in Shanghai's Fengxian suburbs.
Charles Zhang/Marketplace