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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 from Jennifer (85)

Inside one highly automated Chinese factory

by Jennifer Pak Nov 13, 2019
China's Shuoke sports equipment factory says robots have helped triple its production.
A worker looks on as a robotic arm at the Shuoke factory sorts plastic panels to form a soccer ball. Machines like this have helped the firm cope with rising costs. (Shanghai 808 Studio)
Shanghai 808 Studio

Singles Day: China's biggest shopping event

by Jennifer Pak Nov 12, 2019
Bigger than Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday ... combined.
A Singles Day advertisement from Alibaba inside a Shanghai subway station reads, "Fulfill your wish."
Jennifer Pak/Marketplace

Shanghai chips away at its mountain of trash

by Jennifer Pak Oct 25, 2019
After nearly four months of a mandatory waste-sorting plan, the city declares better than expected results.
Shanghai has made it mandatory for residents and businesses to sort their waste.
Jennifer Pak/Marketplace
China 70

The lucky migrant workers who get to retire in Beijing

by Jennifer Pak Oct 4, 2019
While many people move away from the countryside for work, few of them are able to officially register in the cities.
A man sells dream catchers in Beijing. Few migrant workers from the countryside can stay in the city long term.
Photo courtesy of Shanghai 808 Studio
China 70

China's struggling shoe components suppliers contemplate their futures

by Jennifer Pak Oct 4, 2019
Three shoe component suppliers discuss the U.S.-China trade war and the changes they have seen in the last few decades.
A shoe heel manufacturer in southern China's Dongguan city exports mainly to the U.S.
Shanghai 808 Studio
China 70

The people who connect the China and U.S. markets

by Jennifer Pak Oct 4, 2019
Darren Quon and James Gau worked in manufacturing before moving into the business of consulting and sourcing.
Skyline of Dongguan city, a manufacturing hub.
Charles Zhang/Marketplace
China 70

The Chinese manufacturers behind U.S. shoe brands

by Jennifer Pak Oct 3, 2019
Shoe manufacturing shifted from Europe and the U.S., to Japan and Brazil, then to South Korea and Taiwan. Now, much of it takes place in mainland China.
Workers at Changjian Shoe factory in Dongguan city.
Charles Zhang/Marketplace
China 70

The children of Chinese factory workers

by Jennifer Pak Oct 2, 2019
As part of a series on Communist China’s 70th anniversary, Marketplace’s China correspondent Jennifer Pak and Shanghai bureau news assistant, Charles Zhang, spoke to people in the country’s shoe industry – the world’s biggest – about their achievements and challenges over…
Hu Maolin was left in the care of his grandmother when he was two years old, while his parents worked in the cities.
Photo courtesy of Shanghai 808 Studio
China 70

The Chinese workers who make your shoes

by Jennifer Pak Oct 2, 2019
China makes almost 70% of the shoes imported into the U.S.
Most people who produce goods for the U.S. come from China's poor countryside.
Photo courtesy of Shanghai 808 Studio

How Chinese consumers are coping with tariffs on U.S. goods

by Jennifer Pak Sep 19, 2019
Some Chinese consumers are buying less and others are buying local.
A customer shops for clothing at a mall in Beijing in January 2019.
Nicolas Asfouri/AFP/Getty Images