Rob Schmitz

Marketplace’s China correspondent, based in Shanghai

Rob Schmitz appears in the following:

As China's Coal Mines Close, Miners Are Becoming Bolder In Voicing Demands

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

State-run coal mines are shutting down in China's rust belt. Facing layoffs, miners are worried about their future — and in the absence of labor unions, are organizing to demand better treatment.


U.S. Fast-Tracks Missile Defense System To South Korea, Drawing China's Ire

Thursday, March 09, 2017

The THAAD missile defense system will go up in South Korea to help defend against North Korea's missile program. But it's causing a geopolitical tussle.


Health Officials Monitor Jump In Human Cases Of Bird Flu In China

Monday, March 06, 2017

A surge of human infections in China of the H7N9 bird flu has health officials investigating the reasons why. More than 450 people have been infected this year and a third have died.


The Burning Problem Of China's Garbage

Monday, February 20, 2017

China produces 520,000 tons of garbage a day. To get rid of it, the government favors burning it, which harms the environment. One answer: sorting garbage and recycling. But that's proved challenging.


As Chinese New Year Approaches, Shanghai's Bustling Streets Grow Quieter

Friday, January 27, 2017

The Year of the Rooster begins Saturday, and hundreds of millions have departed to celebrate with family. "All the outsiders have left for home," says 85-year-old grandmother Yuan Suizhen.


Chinese Fans Are Slow To Warm Up To Ice Hockey

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

After China won its bid to host the 2022 Olympics, President Xi Jinping vowed to encourage winter sports. But so far, the country's first professional hockey club has struggled to find fans.


Mexico, Russia And China Anticipate Changed U.S. Relations Under Trump

Friday, January 20, 2017

The inauguration in this country is being closely watched all over the world, including three countries whose relationship to the U.S. will likely change drastically under President Trump: Mexico, Russia and China.


An 'Old Friend Of China' Prepares To Bridge Differences At A Fraught Time

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Donald Trump chose Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad as ambassador to Beijing because of old ties with President Xi Jinping and Iowa's history of trade with China. Branstad will have a tough job.


Who's Lifting Chinese People Out Of Poverty?

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

China says it has lifted hundreds of millions out of poverty. But who's doing the lifting? And why use the term "lifting" in the first place?


What's Your 'Public Credit Score'? The Shanghai Government Can Tell You

Tuesday, January 03, 2017

The app gathers personal data and gives residents a rating. A good score ensures discounts. A bad score may lead to problems. It's part of China's effort to create nationwide social credit system.


In A Massive City, This Bar Serves Up Diverse Drinks — To 8 People At A Time

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Bar Moju in Shanghai is tiny and only serves authentic concoctions created by its owner, Moe. To visit, you must make a reservation.


A Chinese Woman Does A Really Bad Job Pretending To Be Hit By A Car

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

It's an ancient scam, updated for modern times.


In China's Tiny Catholic Community, Hopes Rise For Beijing-Vatican Ties

Friday, December 23, 2016

China and the Vatican are working to settle longstanding differences. Their efforts may pave the way for the Holy See and Beijing to work together to ordain bishops inside of China.


After Four Mostly Quiet Decades, One China Policy Is Thrust Into Spotlight

Monday, December 12, 2016

A single phone call has made the policy a central issue as Donald Trump prepares to assume office. The president-elect says he doesn't think the U.S. should feel bound by it.


How Your Cashmere Sweater Is Decimating Mongolia's Grasslands

Friday, December 09, 2016

Mongolian goats produce the world's highest quality cashmere wool, and international demand has soared. There's a problem, though. These goats are turning the country into an ecological wasteland.


Once Booming, Mongolia's Economy Veers From Riches To Rags

Monday, December 05, 2016

The sparsely populated nation of nomadic herders rode China's booming economy by supplying it with coal. But as China's economy slows and commodity prices drop, Mongolia's economy is crashing.


In Trump's Taiwan Kerfuffle, Beijing Has Been Uncharacteristically Measured

Sunday, December 04, 2016

Some are in an uproar over President-elect Donald Trump's phone call with Taiwan's president. Yet the Chinese leadership has shown no interest in escalating the matter.


Trump Talks With Taiwan, In A Move That May Spell Friction With China

Saturday, December 03, 2016

President-elect Donald Trump spoke with Taiwan's leader, Tsai Ying-Wen, breaking nearly four decades of diplomatic protocol and threatening to upset U.S. relations with China.


Amid Economic Crisis, Mongolians Risk Their Lives For Do-It-Yourself Mining

Thursday, December 01, 2016

Mining once boomed in Mongolia but as commodity prices fell, the economy tanked and companies went bankrupt. Unemployed men are taking over abandoned coal mines to extract what's left. Some have died.


Trump's Hotels In China Could Be A Conflict For The President-Elect

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Donald Trump has business interests around the globe. There's talk about whether foreign powers will distinguish between President Trump and businessman Trump. We examine the case of China.