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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 (142)

H&M affirms commitment to China amid consumer boycott

"Companies might have to choose a side," says our China correspondent Jennifer Pak, "use Xinjiang cotton or be locked out of the world’s second-largest economy."
The clothing retailer last year announced on its website that it would no longer source cotton from Xinjiang, a province where the U.S. and other governments accuse China of holding at least 1 million Uyghurs in forced labor camps, which China denies.
Kevin Frayer/Getty Images

Pandemic pushes big-city dreamers out of Shanghai

Mar 30, 2021
Workers from rural China came to Shanghai in search of better lives, a challenge even in good times. Then the COVID-19 lockdown hit.
Parents boast about their unmarried children's achievements on handwritten notes taped to umbrellas at Shanghai's People's Park. The ads bring China's urban-rural divide into sharp focus.
Charles Zhang/Marketplace

Higher U.S. postage rates send vendors in China scrambling

Mar 9, 2021
The U.S. set higher postage rates last year. E-commerce sellers in China are still scrambling to deal with the change.
A seemingly small change like the U.S. raising postage rates for mail from abroad jolted Chinese firms that sell to Americans.
Peter Parks/AFP via Getty Images

As China's movie theaters return to normal, domestic releases top box office

Mar 1, 2021
The top four films this week are all domestic Chinese films. In the past, at least one of those would be from Hollywood.
"Hi Mom," a sentimental comedy, has rapidly become one of the most popular films of all time in China.
Greg Baker/AFP via Getty Images

There are fewer visas, but Chinese students still want a U.S. education

Feb 19, 2021
Chinese students spend years mapping out the path to U.S. colleges. The pandemic has disrupted all of that.
"Contemplation in the afternoon," is one of the many pieces of art Li Jiayan has posted on social media in hopes of getting more freelance work while she figures out the next steps in her study plans.
Courtesy of Li Jiayan

For U.S. service firms, access to China still mixed

Feb 12, 2021
China sells goods into the U.S. market easily, but American service providers face a range of barriers in China, which vary across industries.
The United Family hospital in Beijing is a U.S.-China joint venture. Foreign investors can't fully own hospitals in the country.
Courtesy of United Family Healthcare

Manufacturing: The China Inc. model

Feb 2, 2021
Why is it sometimes cheaper for U.S. consumers to buy goods from China than from local vendors?
A worker in a southern China shoe factory. Many Chinese manufacturers say they are making goods Americans no longer want to produce.
Charles Zhang/Marketplace

Chinese businesses take stock a year after their pandemic pivot

Jan 14, 2021
A tea shop supplier and a brush manufacturer switched to making masks after the lockdown. But the gamble didn't pay off.
Manufacturer Qian Wensheng is stuck with rolls of substandard melt-blown fabric that he cannot use in face masks.
Courtesy of Qian Wensheng

Can U.S. businesses count on Chinese consumers?

Dec 1, 2020
Many American firms are looking to Chinese consumers to keep them afloat, but many of those consumers are trying to keep themselves afloat.
A U.S. startup company hopes Chinese consumers will buy its plant-based egg product. For some, though, cost is a factor.
Courtesy of Eat Just

A Biden presidency won't change what many Chinese exporters are doing

Nov 18, 2020
Chinese exporters have found ways to deal with the extra U.S. tariffs and those plans are not set to change under President-elect Joe Biden.
Changjian Shoe factory has moved much of its shoe production for the U.S. market from China to other countries in Southeast Asia in order to avoid U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods.
Charles Zhang/Marketplace