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 (174)

Shanghai firms drift back to work but hurdles remain

May 4, 2022
Shanghai is allowing a small number of firms to resume operations. In a heavily locked-down environment, many of them are finding it's not that easy.
Regular COVID-19 tests are required for workers in Shanghai who receive work permits — though the process to getting there can be arduous.
Jade Gao/AFP via Getty Images

A look at lockdown life in Shanghai

COVID cases still number about 18,000 per day, and many people have had to make sacrifices.
View of residential units during a COVID-19 coronavirus lockdown in the Jing'an district of Shanghai on April 21, 2022.
Photo by HECTOR RETAMAL/AFP via Getty Images

China's zero-COVID restrictions put pressure on businesses

Apr 15, 2022
China’s first-quarter economic data is not likely to be rosy, given the fallout of the Ukraine war and the current COVID surge.
The Yangshan Port near Shanghai. Even goods and cargo are tested for COVID-19 under China's aggressive anti-contagion policy.
Johannes Eisele/AFP via Getty Images

Inside Shanghai's indefinite lockdown: isolation, outcry and food shortages

Apr 12, 2022
Shanghai's latest citywide lockdown has left residents anxious about being separated from their children, pets and struggling to find food.
Shanghai has been mass testing its residents almost every day since the start of the month.
Charles Zhang/Marketplace

Life inside Shanghai’s latest COVID surge

Mar 29, 2022
Shanghai officials boast that their strategy to snuff out the spread of COVID-19 is preferable to a city-wide lockdown. For residents living through the current wave, the effects are jarring.
Medical workers in Shanghai exit a residential building that has been sealed. Shanghai has done mass testing in this latest surge of COVID-19 cases.
Charles Zhang/Marketplace

China walks a trade tightrope between Russia and the West

Mar 17, 2022
The Chinese government is opposed to sanctions against Russia and says it will continue to trade with it. But that is not easy in practice.
Though China relies on Russian oil, voluntary sanctions by Western companies could make it harder for China to get it. Above, a worker stands on pipes at an offshore oil in China's eastern Shandong province.
STR/AFP via Getty Images

Shanghai is under COVID-19 restrictions after omicron surge

Mar 14, 2022
China's financial capital is not under a full lockdown, but strict anti-COVID measures still weigh on residents.
Workers are seen wearing protective clothes next to some lockdown areas after new cases of COVID-19 in Shanghai on March 14.
Hector Retamal/AFP via Getty Images

Could China scoop up Russian goods at bargain-basement prices because of sanctions?

Mar 8, 2022
If fewer countries want Russian goods, supply goes up and China could, in theory, get cheaper prices. It is a whole other thing in practice.
Workers sort packages at a JD.com warehouse in Beijing in November. Items have been flying off the virtual shelves of a Russian store on the Chinese e-commerce site.
Jade Gao/AFP via Getty Images

What has the U.S.-China trade war achieved?

Feb 25, 2022
The U.S. and China have been engaged in a trade war for nearly four years. What's the scorecard?
Johannes Eisele/AFP via Getty Images

Living in a bubble: China’s zero-COVID policy

Feb 7, 2022
The Beijing Olympics are said to be the biggest closed-loop bubble experiment ever. China has had practice with its zero-COVID policy.
Health workers wear protective suits at a Beijing coronavirus testing center on Jan. 25. China has had a strict no-COVID policy throughout the pandemic.
Kevin Frayer/Getty Images