Chinese teen sold kidney for iPhone and iPad; Charges just filed

A Chinese teenager, reportedly named Wang, was said to have sold his kidney to get money for buying the iPhone and iPad 2 last year. With his condition rapidly deteriorating now, five people have been charged in connection with this case.

via Wikimedia

Until it launched an Apple Store in Shanghai, Apple didn't seem to have China in its list of top priorities as a consumer nation. Apple traditionally launched its devices in China at least a couple of months after its US launch. This gave rise to a grey market that capitalized on impatient Apple enthusiasts willing to pay over the odds for getting a chance to buy Apple's phones and slates as soon as possible. However, Apple doesn't exactly make cheap products by any means, and if you couple that with grey market 'commissions', Apple's products would have an absolutely insane price tag.

Wang is said to be from one of the poorest Chinese districts - Anhui. He is suffering from renal deficiency, which could have a potentially debilitating and life threatening effect on him. According to Reuters' report:

“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 is said to have earned $35000 for conducting the entire operation, and Wang was reportedly given about a tenth of that figure. Apparently, there is a black market for organ trade in China, after it was banned by the government in 2007.


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