A teenager in southern China reportedly sold a kidney so he could afford an Apple iPhone and iPad, Reuters reports.
Five people who had a hand in the 17-year-old’s surgery are charged with intentional injury, the government-run Xinhua News Agency said on Friday.
The teen, identified only as Wang, is from Anhui, one of the country’s poorest provinces, and is now suffering from renal deficiency or kidney failure.
After a surgeon removed the kidney last April, Wang bought the iPhone and iPad, and returned home to his mother. When she asked him where he’d gotten the money to make the purchases, he admitted to selling a kidney.
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One of the defendants was paid 220,000 yuan (about $35,000) to arrange the transplant. He gave Wang 22,000 yuan (about $3,500) for the organ, and split the rest with the surgeon, medical staff and three other defendants, Xinhua reports.
While it is not clear who paid for the kidney, the website China Daily reports that other suspects involved in the case are still being investigated.
According to statistics from the Ministry of Health, about 1.5 million people in China need transplants, but only about 10,000 of the operations are performed in the country each year.
China banned the trading of human organs in 2007, but because of the demand, black market trades are common.