Rob Schmitz Rob Schmitz is the Shanghai Correspondent for NPR.
Julian de Hauteclocque Howe/NPR
Rob Schmitz 2016
Julian de Hauteclocque Howe/NPR

Rob Schmitz

Correspondent, Shanghai

Rob Schmitz is the Shanghai Correspondent for NPR.

From 2010 to 2016, Schmitz was the China Correspondent for the public radio business program Marketplace. Schmitz has won several awards for his reporting on China, including two national Edward R. Murrow awards and an Education Writers Association award. His work was also a finalist for the 2012 Investigative Reporters and Editors Award. His reporting in Japan — from the hardest-hit areas near the failing Fukushima nuclear power plant following the earthquake and tsunami — was included in the publication 100 Great Stories, celebrating the centennial of Columbia University's Journalism School. In 2012, Rob exposed the fabrications in Mike Daisey's account of Apple's supply chain on This American Life. His report was featured in the show's "Retraction" episode, the most downloaded episode in the program's 16-year history.

Prior to his radio career, Schmitz lived and worked in China – first as a teacher for the Peace Corps in the 1990s, later as a freelance print and video journalist. He speaks Mandarin and Spanish. He has a Master's degree from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism.

Schmitz's latest book is Street of Eternal Happiness: Big City Dreams Along a Shanghai Road (2016).

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Story Archive

China's President Xi Jinping speaks during a business leaders' event with President Trump in Beijing on Thursday. Nicolas Asfouri/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Nicolas Asfouri/AFP/Getty Images

U.S. steak is sold among cuts of beef from Australia and New Zealand. Because the U.S. lacks a free trade agreement with China, its beef is expensive in China. As a result, it doesn't sell as well as beef from competing markets. Rob Schmitz/NPR hide caption

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Rob Schmitz/NPR

Shaky U.S.-China Trade Relationship Will Top Trump's Agenda In Beijing

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Chinese President Xi Jinping delivers a speech at the opening ceremony of the 19th Party Congress held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing last week. Ng Han Guan/AP hide caption

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Ng Han Guan/AP

What Motivates Chinese President Xi Jinping's Anti-Corruption Drive?

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A woman wearing a face mask walks on a street as Beijing is hit by polluted air and sandstorms on May 4. Andy Wong/AP hide caption

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Andy Wong/AP

China Shuts Down Tens Of Thousands Of Factories In Unprecedented Pollution Crackdown

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The Tianshan No. 1 glacier is melting fast, receding by at least 30 feet each year. Scientists warn that the glacier — the source of the Urumqi River, which more than 4 million people depend on — may disappear in the next 50 years. Rob Schmitz/NPR hide caption

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Rob Schmitz/NPR

'Impossible To Save': Scientists Are Watching China's Glaciers Disappear

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Yu Zu'en stands in front of one of the few wall decorations in his new, government-issued apartment: a poster of China's leaders. The 84-year-old veteran lost his right eye fighting the Americans in Korea in 1951. Rob Schmitz/NPR hide caption

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Rob Schmitz/NPR

Xi Jinping's War On Poverty Moves Millions Of Chinese Off The Farm

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Chinese President Xi Jinping has cracked down on corruption — and dissent. Lintao Zhang/Getty Images hide caption

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Lintao Zhang/Getty Images

For Clues To China's Crackdown On Public Expression, Look To Its Economy

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The Economics Behind China's Crackdown On Civil Society

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Parwena Dulkun is a Uighur model who divides her time between Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang, and Beijing. Uighurs share traits from both Asian and European ancestors, a look that is in demand among modeling agencies throughout China. Photo courtesy of Parwena Dulkun hide caption

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Photo courtesy of Parwena Dulkun

For Some Chinese Uighurs, Modeling Is A Path To Success

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At Urumqi's Grand Bazaar, a police officer chats with a local vendor while a video promoting China's ethnic minorities plays on a big screen overlooking the square. This was the site of Uighur protests in 2009 that sparked citywide riots, leading to the death of hundreds. Since then, the city has become one of China's most tightly controlled police states. Rob Schmitz/NPR hide caption

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Rob Schmitz/NPR

Wary Of Unrest Among Uighur Minority, China Locks Down Xinjiang Region

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In Hong Kong Speech, Bannon Expected To Take A Hard Line On China

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Why China Is Going After A Billionaire In The U.S.

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Chinese boyband TFBoys' song "Go!AMIGO" is a big hit in China this summer. VCG/VCG via Getty Images hide caption

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VCG/VCG via Getty Images

TFBoys' 'Go!AMIGO' Is A Summery Slice Of Pop Propaganda

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