Jennifer Pak

China Correspondent


Jennifer is Marketplace’s China correspondent, based in Shanghai. She tells stories about the world’s second-biggest economy and why Americans should care about it.

She arrived in Beijing in 2006 with few journalism contacts but quickly set up her own news bureau. Her work has appeared in many news outlets, including the BBC, NPR and The Financial Times. After covering the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Jennifer moved to Kuala Lumpur to be the BBC’s Malaysia correspondent. She reported on the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 and Edward Snowden’s brief escape to Hong Kong. Jennifer returned to China in 2015, based in the high-tech hub of Shenzhen, before joining Marketplace two years later.

In 2022, Jennifer, along with 25 million Shanghai residents, was locked down for over 60 days and had to scramble for food. The coverage of the pandemic she and her team produced helped earn them a Gracie and a National Headliner Award in 2023. You can see the food Jennifer was able to get during the Shanghai lockdown here and keep up with her tasty finds across China on Instagram at @jpakradio.

Latest Stories (225)

One of China's hottest toys sold millions. The inventor made $830.

May 9, 2024
A person who comes up with a good idea might not always reap the rewards in China's manufacturing ecosystem.
It's hard to spot which carrot knives are originals and which ones are copies.
Charles Zhang/Marketplace

Sober times for China's wine sellers

Apr 17, 2024
Having once enjoyed vibrant growth, China's wine industry is being held back by trade barriers, changing tastes and a flagging economy.
A shelf of wines from France, Argentina and New Zealand in a Shanghai retail shop. Wine imports have declined, and exporters are frustrated.
Charles Zhang/Marketplace

Bubble tea's Taiwan origin story: economic boom, national identity and betrayal

Mar 14, 2024
The self-governing island consumes a billion cups a year of the milk tea with the chewy tapioca pearls. Globally, it's a $3 billion industry.
Bubble tea at Chun Shui Tang. Each glass follows a strict tea-to ice-to tapioca-ball ratio.
Jennifer Pak/Marketplace

The dramatic recovery of China's Luckin Coffee chain draws fans and skeptics

Mar 1, 2024
Luckin was punished for fabricating $300 million in sales, but now it has overtaken Starbucks' Chinese business. What's changed?
A Luckin coffee shop in Shanghai. Luckin has expanded to surpass Starbucks' business in China.
Charles Zhang/Marketplace

As the Year of the Dragon dawns, many Chinese wish for a better economy

Feb 9, 2024
Asking people in China about their Lunar New Year wishes, the talk inevitably shifts to the economy.
A vendor in Shanghai sells plush toys for the Year of the Dragon.
Charles Zhang/Marketplace

Wellington marches on Shanghai, but at a cost

Jan 30, 2024
A detailed look how a food trend starts in China's financial hub, Shanghai.
Coquille restaurant's beef Wellington comes with a sign. The number 75,437 means that is the 75,437th beef Wellington the restaurant has served since the dish was rolled out in 2015 in Shanghai.
Charles Zhang/Marketplace

In Taiwan's election, young voters focus on inflation, wages and war

Jan 12, 2024
The U.S. and China loom large over Taiwan's presidential and legislative elections on Jan. 13, but so do domestic bread-and-butter issues.
A man wearing a Team Taiwan jacket from the governing DPP party takes a photo of a group of supporters at a political rally in central Taipei.
Jennifer Pak/Marketplace

In Shanghai, vacant storefronts abound, but it's still a struggle to find space

Jan 9, 2024
China's housing bubble has popped, and the commercial property market is going through a rough patch.
For lease signs are posted on an empty Shanghai coffee shop. The commercial property market is going through a transition after the city's severe pandemic lockdown.
Charles Zhang/Marketplace

Who's better at my job, Chinese AI or me?

Dec 4, 2023
Makers of AI chatbots have promised it would change how we work. Our reporter put that theory to the test with China's Ernie Bot.
Baidu's AI chatbot, Ernie Bot, gives an error message on Aug. 31 in response to a question about a potential war over Taiwan.  It reads, "Try another question."
Greg Baker/AFP via Getty Images

How easy is it for foreign visitors to use Chinese apps?

Nov 21, 2023
Chinese apps are becoming more embedded in daily life in China, but many obstacles remain for foreign visitors to use them.
Thailand's Napatr Morin learned some Chinese before visiting China for the first time to sell her rice cracker snacks. She says knowing the language, or bringing someone who speaks Chinese is crucial for business and to use Chinese apps to get around.
Charles Zhang/Marketplace