Rob Schmitz is Marketplace’s China correspondent, based in Shanghai.

Schmitz joined Marketplace in 2010. He's covered a range of topics in China, from labor conditions to education to the rise of consumerism. In 2011, he provided Marketplace’s sole coverage from Japan in the days following the earthquake and tsunami, reporting from the hardest-hit areas near the failing Fukushima nuclear power plant. In 2012, he exposed the fabrications in Mike Daisey’s account of Apple's supply chain on This American Life and his report was featured in that show’s much-discussed "Retraction" episode. The work was a finalist for the 2012 Investigative Reporters and Editors award. In 2012, he and Marketplace Education Correspondent Amy Scott won the national Edward R. Murrow award and an award from the Education Writers Association for their investigative series on college agencies that place Chinese students at U.S. universities.

Prior to joining Marketplace, Schmitz was the Los Angeles bureau chief for KQED’s The California Report. He’s also worked as the Orange County reporter for KPCC, and as a reporter for MPR, covering rural Minnesota.

Prior to his radio career, Schmitz lived and worked in China; first as a teacher in the Peace Corps, then as a freelance print and video journalist. His television documentaries about China have appeared on The Learning Channel and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

Schmitz has received many honors and awards including: the Overseas Press Club Scholarship (2001); The Minnesota Society of Professional Journalist award (2001); the Scripps Howard Religion Writing Fellowship (2001); the International Reporting Project Fellowship (2002); the National Federation of Community Broadcasters (2002); Golden Mics from the Radio and TV News Association of Southern California (2005 and 2006); the Peninsula Press Club award (2006); the ASU Media Fellowship, (2007); the Abe Fellowship for Journalists, (2009); the Education Writers Association (2011); a national Edward R. Murrow award (2012); finalist, Investigative Reporters and Editors award (2013). In 2011, the Rubin Museum of Art screened a short documentary Schmitz shot in Western China.

Schmitz has a Master’s degree from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota-Duluth. He speaks Spanish and Mandarin Chinese. He served two years as a Peace Corps volunteer in Zigong, Sichuan Province, China.

A native of Elk River, Minn., Schmitz currently resides in Shanghai, a city that’s far enough away from his hometown to avoid having to watch his favorite football team, the Minnesota Vikings. Sometimes, he says, that’s a good thing. 

Features By Rob Schmitz

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China GDP growth slips to lowest level in 18 months

Sustained high GDP figures usually reflect unhealthy growth
Posted In: China
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In China, a city's water, poisoned

Lanzhou’s water supply was contaminated with Benzene, a cancer-causing chemical
Posted In: water, pollution, China
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Sharp decline in Chinese trade surprise economists

Imports declined more than 11% in the world's second largest economy
Posted In: China, trade
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China targets U.S. pig imports

China has imposed tough restrictions on live pigs imports from the U.S.
Posted In: China, pigs, imports
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Ford's China conundrum: Big profits, bribery allegations

More autoworkers are Chinese – assembling cars in China for sale to Chinese consumers.
Posted In: China, Ford, corruption
7

Diabetes' new frontier: China

Hundreds of millions of Chinese have moved to the city, leaving behind farmer’s diets.
Posted In: China, diabetes, obesity
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Reports: NSA spied on China telecom giant Huawei

Documents stolen by Edward Snowden reveal the NSA spied on Huawei
Posted In: nsa, Obama, surveillance, spying, corporate spying
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First ladies and U.S.-China relations

Michelle Obama meets China's first lady Peng Liyuan this week.
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A raft of weak economic data out of China

Industrial output, fixed asset investment, retail sales, you name it: all slipped the first two months of the year, defying expectations. But we've seen this before.
Posted In: China, Chinese economy
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Troubling economic data from China indicates slowdown

Troubling signs indicate the world’s second largest economy isn’t recovering
Posted In: China, global economy

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