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Marketplace Morning Report

It's not delivery. It's the grocery store.

Dec 5, 2019

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Make Me Smart with Kai and Molly
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Have something you want Kai to explain? Let us know!

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 (87)

Trade showdown

U.S. businesses worried over Chinese policy initiative

by Jennifer Pak Apr 16, 2018
"Made in China 2025" aims to make China the technology leader in several sectors.
Security guards walk past the Chinese national flag at the Military Museum of Chinese People's Revolution on March 1, 2008 in Beijing, China. 
China Photos/Getty Images
Trade showdown

In Shanghai, few worry over U.S-China trade spat

by Jennifer Pak Apr 5, 2018
"In China's history, we’ve faced more serious problems than this,” one man says.
Roy Ma and his family consume American fruits and nuts but he says the latest China tariffs on these products will not have a huge impact on his life. He is worried about what other tariffs will be imposed as the trade friction escalates.
Jennifer Pak/Marketplace

China's post-Lunar New Year job exodus

by Jennifer Pak Mar 28, 2018
The two months after the holiday are traditionally "jobs season."
According to a survey by leading job site Zhaopin, nearly 70 percent of white-collar workers are starting a new job or actively looking to change jobs.
Jennifer Pak/Marketplace
Trade showdown

China's carrot and stick approach to U.S. tariffs

by Jennifer Pak Mar 26, 2018
The U.S. has accused the country of forcing American firms to transfer technology to gain access to its markets.
President Donald Trump has announced tariffs on as much as $60 billion worth of Chinese products. Above, a worker stands on a dock in Shanghai.
JOHANNES EISELE/AFP/Getty Images

U.S.-China trade war? Not many people in China think it's likely

by Jennifer Pak Mar 8, 2018
While news of steel and aluminium tariffs have dominated the news in the U.S., in China the reaction has been subdued.
Chinese police officers watch a cargo ship at a port in Qingdao in China's eastern Shandong province on March 8, 2018.
AFP/Getty Images
Marketplace Tech Blogs

China is drowning in a sea of cardboard — so is the U.S.

by Molly Wood, Stephanie Hughes, Jennifer Pak, and Shaheen Ainpour Feb 26, 2018
Online shopping comes with a lot of packaging, and that packaging is becoming a problem.
Chinese laborers load cardboard onto a truck to be recycled in the Dong Xiao Kou village in Beijing in 2014.
Kevin Frayer/Getty Images

For many, Chinese New Year is a time to splurge

by Jennifer Pak Feb 20, 2018
Here is a look at what people in China are buying to mark the Year of the Dog.
The Year of the Dog was celebrated by millions of Chinese people around the world on Feb. 16.
Jack Taylor/Getty Images

How does China’s social credit system work?

by Jennifer Pak Feb 13, 2018
With a lack of financial data to assess creditworthiness, citizens are being rewarded for honesty and punish misdeeds, which are digitally archived.
In Shanghai, jaywalking could be recorded on your social credit file, along with refusing to visit elderly parents or not sorting your garbage into the appropriate bins.
Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images

Inside China's "social credit" system, which blacklists citizens

by Jennifer Pak Feb 13, 2018
Critics of the program have likened it to an Orwellian creation or an episode of the TV series "Black Mirror."
Passengers await a bullet train on the platform at Changzhou North railway station.
JOHANNES EISELE/AFP/Getty Images

Shanghai caps population to combat "big city diseases"

by Jennifer Pak Jan 17, 2018
China's Cabinet has decreed that the city's population should be 25 million — barely more than it is today.
Two out of five residents in Shanghai are migrants, who mainly take up the jobs others don't want. The government is trying to stop migrants from poorer regions from flooding megacities.
Jennifer Pak/Marketplace