Chinese teen sells kidney to buy iPad 2

A 17-year-old Chinese boy is making headlines across the world after allegations that he sold one of his kidneys in order to buy an iPad 2.

Business Insider has full details:

A 17-year-old Chinese boy decided to sell his kidney for 20,000 yuan so he could buy an iPad, the Shanghai Daily reports.
But, he’s not feeling well now, and he’s regretting the decision.

He had his kidney removed after being contacted by someone on the internet that specializes in this sort of things.
When he came home from having his kidney removed his mother freaked out and tried to contact the person who bought his kidney.
Not surprisingly, the person wasn’t answering the phone. Now police are investigating.

One slightly cruel joke on Twitter suggested that the boy was regretting the decision as he realised he’d be unable to buy the iPad 3.

The story speaks for itself and just how popular gadgets and tech are across Asia – though, of course that isn’t to say that this is typical of Asian behaviour.

The cost of technology is often out of immediate reach of many in Asia who save hard to buy an iPhone or BlackBerry or, as is the case in many countries, devices can be bought using installments to break the cost down.

In the smartphone world, the diverse range (and price) of Androidphones  is the factor behind the belief that the operating system will come to dominate Asia however. But as this tragic story testifies, for some there is no substitute for the Apple brand.

China’s organ-selling industry is well established, albeit illegal, and this story seems likely to reopen the debate particular given the end purchase of a luxury item when more often than not organ selling is a last resort for paying bills like this man.

UPDATE: The Huffington Post has further information which casts some doubt over the story:

After being discharged from the hospital, Zheng returned home with both a brand-new laptop and an iPhone, but quickly began experiencing complications from the surgery, according to the Telegraph. When his mother discovered the products and forced her son to reveal how he could afford them, she immediately notified local police, Global Times is reporting.

“When he came back, he had a laptop and a new Apple handset,” his mother, identified as Miss Liu, is quoted by the Telegraph as saying, “I wanted to know how he had got so much money and he finally confessed that he had sold one of his kidneys.”

Chenzhou 198 Hospital, where Zheng allegedly had his surgery, has no qualifications for kidney transplantation, and has since denied any knowledge of the operation because the department that did the surgery had been contracted to a Fujian businessman, Shanghai Daily reports. Police are continuing to investigate the case.