Rob Schmitz Rob Schmitz is NPR's international correspondent based in Shanghai
Rob Schmitz 2016 square
Stories By

Rob Schmitz

Julian de Hauteclocque Howe/NPR
Rob Schmitz 2016
Julian de Hauteclocque Howe/NPR

Rob Schmitz

International Correspondent, Shanghai

Rob Schmitz is NPR's international correspondent based in Shanghai, covering the human stories of China's economic rise and increasing global influence. His reporting on China's impact beyond its borders has taken him to countries such as Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Vietnam, Thailand, Australia, and New Zealand. Inside China, he's interviewed elderly revolutionaries, young rappers, and live-streaming celebrity farmers who make up the diverse tapestry of one of the most fascinating countries on the planet.

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, Schmitz 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.

From 2010 to 2016, Schmitz was the China correspondent for Marketplace. He's also worked as a reporter for NPR Member stations KQED, KPCC, and MPR. Prior to his radio career, Schmitz lived and worked in China — first as a teacher for the Peace Corps in the 1990s, and 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 is the author of Street of Eternal Happiness: Big City Dreams Along a Shanghai Road (2016), a profile of individuals who live, work, and dream along a single street that runs through the heart of China's largest city.

[+] read more[-] less

Story Archive

A woman walks at a closed restaurant in an empty terminal at the airport in Munich. Businesses across Germany have closed or cut back hours because of the new coronavirus. Christof Stache/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Christof Stache/AFP via Getty Images

Christian Drosten, director of the Institute of Virology at Berlin's Charité hospital, is pictured after a news conference in Berlin on March 26, to comment on the spread of the novel coronavirus in Germany. Michael Kappeler/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Michael Kappeler/AFP via Getty Images

'Das Coronavirus' Podcast Captivates Germany With Scientific Info On The Pandemic

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/823865329/824425968" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Sign Of The Times: Germany's Top Podcast Deals With Coronavirus

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/824358186/824358187" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Behind Germany's Relatively Low COVID-19 Fatality Rate

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/821591044/821591045" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Young people gather in the Volkspark am Friedrichshain in Berlin on March 18. Germany's fatality rate so far — just 0.5% — is the world's lowest, by a long shot. Markus Schreiber/AP hide caption

toggle caption
Markus Schreiber/AP

To the left: an empty subway car in Beijing, China. To the right: a crowded park in Berlin, Germany. Amy Xiaomeng Cheng/NPR and Rob Schmitz/NPR hide caption

toggle caption
Amy Xiaomeng Cheng/NPR and Rob Schmitz/NPR

How Covid-19 Is Challenging Cultures

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/817960068/818128770" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

EU Locks Down Borders To Try To Slow Spread Of COVID-19

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/817606576/817606577" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

European Nations See A Rise In COVID-19 Cases

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/816344350/816344351" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Joyful Kids, Frayed Parents When COVID-19 Scare Closes German School

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/812431261/812431262" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Germany To Investigate Mass Shooting Outside Frankfurt As Right-Wing Terrorist Attack

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/807873810/807873811" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

A police officer guards the road in front of a house where police found the bodies of the suspected gunman and his mother, in Hanau, Germany, on Thursday. Michael Probst/AP hide caption

toggle caption
Michael Probst/AP

Shootings In Germany Kill 10; Police Suspect Far-Right Extremism

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/807661733/807677356" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

U.S. Pressures Europe To Find Alternatives To Huawei

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/806366021/806366022" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

What To Expect From The Munich Security Conference

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/806282672/806282673" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

A pro-democracy protestor holds a placard ahead of a meeting between the Vice President of the European Commission for Values and Transparency, Vera Jourova, and the First President of Poland's Supreme Court, Malgorzata Gersdorf, in front of the Supreme Court on Jan. 28 in Warsaw. European Commission officials were in Poland for talks regarding controversial judicial reforms. Omar Marques/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Omar Marques/Getty Images

Poland's Overhaul Of Its Courts Leads To Confrontation With European Union

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/805722633/805779008" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">