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 (130)

China's economy is bouncing back, but for how long?

Oct 19, 2020
Consumers helped push GDP 4.9% higher in the third quarter. But they may not be able to do much more.
Commuters wear face masks to protect against COVID-19 during rush hour in Beijing on Oct. 15.
Nicolas Asfouri/AFP via Getty Images

The one-child policy is history, but rules in China still restrict families

Oct 13, 2020
Some Chinese couples aren't interested in having more than one child, while unmarried woman aren't allowed to have children at all.
Zhuang Mengyi left a good job in Beijing to raise her son in the cheaper countryside.
Jennifer Pak/Marketplace

Cost of child rearing in China hinders baby boom

Oct 9, 2020
Besides the high costs of raising children, the cost of living is often cited as one of the key deterrents for young parents.
Fang Zixian and his abundance of toys — the first generation in his family to have such items.
Charles Zhang/Marketplace

App wars between China and U.S. caught in tit-for-tat dynamic

Oct 1, 2020
Chinese officials seem to ignore the fact that they put up many obstacles for U.S. tech firms to operate in China.
Chinese smartphone users in Shanghai are largely blocked from accessing U.S. social media apps because of longstanding trade barriers.
Charles Zhang/Marketplace

China makes audacious promise of aiming for carbon neutrality by 2060

Sep 25, 2020
How will the world's most populous country and its worst polluter get there?
Employees work on a floating solar power plant in Huainan, a former coal-mining region, in China's eastern Anhui province in 2017.
AFP via Getty Images

The next TikTok could well be on the way to the U.S. before long

Sep 22, 2020
The wildly popular video-sharing app may be the beginning of a new era in Chinese tech.
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Oracle may be left out of TikTok's razor-sharp algorithm

Sep 14, 2020
The wildly popular app relies on algorithm-based customizing that's helped glue users to their screens.
The TikTok office in Culver City, California, in August.
Mario Tama/Getty Images

Is it a good time for business between the U.S. and China?

Aug 27, 2020
Some U.S. firms complain of retaliatory measures in China. But experts see long-term opportunity.
U.S. products used in a water-treatment system at a Chinese factory. The equipment is among the goods carrying extra Chinese tariffs.
(Courtesy of Su Nengwu)

China to count bloggers and gamers as "employed" during pandemic

Aug 12, 2020
The news has fueled a perception that officials are out to inflate employment figures for a record 8.7 million graduates potentially entering a worsening jobs market.
Students at a job fair in Shanghai. An estimated 8.7 million graduates could enter the workforce this year during the pandemic.
Charles Zhang/Marketplace

How TikTok and WeChat escalated the U.S.-China trade war

Aug 7, 2020
President Trump's executive order restricts Chinese tech platforms. Correspondent Jennifer Pak discusses the future of competition in developing markets.
A man rides past the offices of Tencent, the parent company of Chinese social media platform WeChat, in Beijing.
Greg Baker/AFP via Getty Images