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Five charged after Chinese teenager sells kidney to buy iPad, iPhone

Last year, a Chinese teenager sold his kidney in southern China to buy an iPad and iPhone. Now his renal deficiency is deteriorating, and five people have been charged with intentional injury related to the operation.

The teenager is known in reports by only his surname Wang. According to Reuters (via Xinhua News Agency), prosecutors in Changzhou city, Hunan province claim Wang is suffering from renal deficiency, which also means he is facing a potentially life-threatening decrease in kidney function.

“I wanted to buy an iPad 2 but could not afford it,” said the boy […]. “A broker contacted me on the Internet and said he could help me sell one kidney for 20,000 yuan.”

On April 28th, the boy went to Chenzhou City in neighboring Hunan Province for the kidney removal surgery arranged by the broker. He was paid 22,000 yuan (an extra 2,000–) or $3,400 after his right kidney was taken out at Chenzhou’s famous No. 198 Hospital.

One of the five defendants earned 220,000 yuan (or $35,000 USD) to arrange the transplant, and then he paid Wang 22,000 yuan for the kidney and split the remainder with the surgeon, three other defendants, and various medical staff. The Xinhua report did not detail who received and paid for the kidney.

Wang is from one of China’s poorest provinces, Anhui, and he immediately bought an iPhone and iPad after giving up his organ. He only admitted to the transaction when asked by his mother where he obtained the expensive Apple products. In China, the iPad starts at 2,988 yuan ($474 USD), while the iPhone starts at 3,988 yuan ($633 USD).

Reuters claimed only a fraction of Chinese are able to get transplants, which leads to patients travelling overseas for surgery and creates a black market for human organs. According to Asia News, China officially banned human organ trading in 2007.

Xinhua also mentioned there are other suspects under investigation who are involved in the case.

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