China arrests after kidney sold for iPad

A man tests out an iPad at an Apple shop in Shanghai, 28 February 2012 iPads are as sought-after in China as in many other countries

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Five people have been arrested in southern China after a teenager sold his kidney so he could buy an iPhone and iPad, state media have reported.

Those detained include the surgeon who removed the kidney from the boy in April last year.

State-run Xinhua news agency says the group received around $35,000 (£22,000) for the transplant.

The student is said to be suffering renal failure, according to prosecutors in Hunan province quoted by Xinhua.

Only identified by his surname Wang, he is said to have received about $3,000 for his kidney.

The 17-year-old was reportedly recruited for the illegal trade through an online chatroom.

Organ shortage

The case was discovered when his mother noticed the new gadgets; when asked where he got the money, he admitted selling a kidney.

The group behind the operation have been charged with causing intentional injury and illegal organ trading.

While Apple iPhones and iPads are very popular in China, they are priced beyond the reach of many urban workers.

And there is a constant shortage of organ donors.

Official figures from the health ministry show that about 1.5 million people need transplants, but only 10,000 are performed annually.

Executed prisoners have been often used as a source of organs, but last month China vowed to phase this out over the next five years.


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  • rate this

    Comment number 44.

    The point isn't what he bought, it's that someone persuaded him to sell one of his organs so cheaply. A decision that he may live to regret for however long the rest of his life may be.

  • rate this

    Comment number 43.

    The Chinese authorities are making arrests as it feels they are the only ones allowed to harm teenagers in incidents like Tiananmen Square.

  • Comment number 42.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 41.

    Now now now people, what does Capitalism and materialism have to do with the kid's decision? He wouldn't know better. But if he was in a capitalist country with a good tax system, and therefore, school system, he is more likely to know better. The surgeon is more at fault here for not following an ethical code of practice like Western doctors, but the Chinese Gov are also at fault.

  • rate this

    Comment number 40.

    Who dies with the most toys wins?

    A very sad story of the effect of materialistic obsession and the depths other people will go to to exploit for money.

    Its China, but had it been in Britain, I wouldn't have been surprised.

  • Comment number 39.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 38.

    How apt (sic) that on Easter week there is a story of someone sacrificing their lives for something they believe in, and how sad that that belief is over priced such that they deem it neccessary to do so. £22,000 = 30 pieces of silver?

  • rate this

    Comment number 37.

    Poor people in Communist China sold their blood, then replenished their their circulatory system with blood plasma after the valuable components had been removed. The problem was that the blood was unscreened and the plasma was pooled so that they all shared infections.

  • rate this

    Comment number 36.

    Yet again the materialistic 21st century has another horror story. Its all about money, greed and what you can get out of something. No thought for consequences of actions. An I pad, it will be outdated in a couple of months, what a joke.

  • rate this

    Comment number 35.

    I hate to say it but I would support a capital sentence for the surgeon and his accomplice in this crime.

    I hope they are made an example of!

  • rate this

    Comment number 34.

    That shows the full effect of capitalism which teaches people materialism and greed for money.

  • rate this

    Comment number 33.

    If he sold a cornea, would he wear an iPatch.

  • rate this

    Comment number 32.

    Talk about sad selling your own body for a piece of worthless tat that in a few years will just be another piece of techno junk. People actually believe they need this stuff.

  • rate this

    Comment number 31.

    The surgeon could have made even more profit by just giving the kid an iPad for the kidney. But on a serious note, there are barely enough words in the English language to describe how utterly stupid this kid is and how utterly pathetic modern society is dependent on materialism. You see it every Apple release with ‘people’ waiting 5 days in a queue.

  • rate this

    Comment number 30.

    That brings a new meaning to "I'd give my right arm for a new iPad!"

  • rate this

    Comment number 29.

    Most of us behaved with a lack of foresight when we were young. What an awful consequence this young lad must live with. I feel for him and his parents. Those that recruited him are vultures and deserve a long prison term and to have all of their material assets stripped to nothing.

    Sadly this is a reflection of people's desperation to achieve materially. Will this drive destroy our species?

  • rate this

    Comment number 28.

    What is the world coming to? Selling a kidney for an ipad? The most ridiculous thing i have EVER heard. Also harvesting the organs of people who are going to be executed is a great idea. We should introduce the death penalty for people like Harold Shipman and take their organs for dying people

  • rate this

    Comment number 27.

    Little_Old_Me re "Ultimately it us, in the West, who insist on these comsumer products being as cheap as possible who drive this poverty in countries like China" I think you will find that China is lot richer today supplying the west with consumer goods than it was a few years ago. The Chinese work for less western workers but NOT less than they could earn doing something else.

  • rate this

    Comment number 26.

    Not sure why you cannot sell your own body parts if you wish. The government does not have rights to my body. What also gets me is every one cries about lack of organs yet we have the ability to clone them and people cry about that to. Everyone wishes to live in the perfect world yet are not willing to pay to live in it. I say good for the guy if he wanted to sell his body parts he as the rights.

  • rate this

    Comment number 25.

    This is a very sad story compounded by the fact that the student is said to be suffering renal failure.

    But is you look at things logically, it is perfectly humane to want to donate a kindney to keep another human being alive. But what make is unacceptable is people profiteering both from the recipient and the donor.


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