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Marketplace Morning Report

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 from Jennifer (74)

What it's like to live on an average wage in Shanghai

by Jennifer Pak Jul 18, 2019
China's official inflation is still under 3% but residents complain that the cost of living in the Chinese financial hub of Shanghai jut keeps getting higher.
Workers on a lunch break in Shanghai. According to the job site, Zhaopin, the average worker spends 20 yuan ($2.90) or less per lunch. Convenience stores like this one are one of the few places that offer cheap meals in office areas.
Charles Zhang/Marketplace

On punishing schedules, China's tech workers are exhausted

by Jennifer Pak Jul 10, 2019
China's tech sector is built on the backs of hard working employees who are often expected to work 12-hour days at a minimum. Some workers are starting to push back.
A Chinese tech firm showcases its facial recognition security equipment at the Consumer Electronics Show in Shanghai June 2019. The success of these companies is partly built on the backs of workers putting in extreme overtime.
Charles Zhang/Marketplace

What to expect from the meeting between Trump and China's Xi at the G-20

by Jennifer Pak Jun 27, 2019
After brinkmanship and blunders, there's cautious optimism in China that the leaders can defuse trade tensions.
U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping pose before a sideline meeting at the 2017 G-20 summit in Hamburg, Germany.
SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

The millions in China who can't afford to retire

by Jennifer Pak Jun 19, 2019
A new pension system doesn't provide as much security.
An elderly man picking trash along Shanghai's streets for $12 a day.
Charles Zhang/Marketplace

What the U.S. means when it says it wants more access to China's markets

by Jennifer Pak Jun 11, 2019
Since the Tiananmen protests in 1989, China has allowed citizens more economic freedoms, which have benefited a lot of American brands, but there are still sectors they are heavily restricted in.
A sign directing customers to queue at the entrance of a Starbucks Roastery in Shanghai in early 2018, a few months after it opened.
Jennifer Pak/Marketplace

Economics helped spur Tiananmen Square protests

by Jennifer Pak Jun 5, 2019
Inflation hit double digits and protesters felt good jobs were rigged in favor of people with political connections.
Charles Zhang/Marketplace

Tiananmen 30 years on: What are China's youth worried about?

by Jennifer Pak Jun 4, 2019
China's college students are not just concerned with job prospects but also how to have a more balanced life.
Jennifer Pak/Marketplace

Why China wants to stock more than 200,000 tons of pork

by Jennifer Pak May 30, 2019
Some countries stockpile grain and petroleum. China has both, plus a national pork reserve.
A local meat market in Shanghai is dominated by pork stands. Pork is a staple in the Chinese diet and accounts for 70% of all meat consumed in China.
Charles Zhang/Marketplace

Why a mystery social media account on the U.S.-China trade talks is generating buzz

by Jennifer Pak May 28, 2019
China’s state-run media has been tight-lipped about trade talks, but a mystery social media account seems to have the inside track.
A headline on a Taoran Notes article on the U.S.-China trade talks reads: "Without sincerity, there is no point in coming for talks and nothing to talk about.” Credit: Taoran Notes/WeChat
Taoran Notes/WeChat

China struggles to teach its savers that investments carry risks

by Jennifer Pak May 22, 2019
Wealth management products are massively popular among the Chinese public.
A Bank of China Shanghai branch is one of the big state-owned banks that sells instruments called wealth management products, which are very popular among ordinary Chinese investors.
Charles Zhang/Marketplace