Planet China

Kidney trade

The fanaticism of some of Apple’s biggest fans seems harmless, if a little geeky.

But no more, according to Shenzhen Satellite TV, which has reported that a teenager in Anhui province sold one of his body parts so he could buy an iPad. The student, surnamed Zheng, told the channel that he wanted an iPad2 but could not afford it. But he was then contacted by a broker on the internet and “he said he could help me sell one kidney for Rmb22,000 ($3,393)”.

So, on April 28, Zheng went to Chenzhou City in neighbouring Hunan province where the broker arranged surgery – unbeknownst to his parents. He then used the money to buy an iPad 2 and an iPhone, but his health soon deteriorated and his mother called the police. The broker has not been tracked down, although it emerges the Chenzhou No.198 Hospital was not qualified to perform organ transplants.

The tragic tale will have particular resonance for Apple boss Steve Jobs, who required a liver transplant to save his own life.


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