Five Charged in China After Teen Trades Kidney for iPhone and iPad

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Feng Li / Getty Images

Chinese people line up to buy iPhone 4S in a China Unicom store in in Beijing, China.

Camping overnight at the Apple store looks pretty tame after this case. Five people in southern China have been charged for taking a 17-year-old boy’s kidney in exchange for an iPad and an iPhone.

According to Reuters, one of the defendants received $35,000 for arranging the transplant for an unknown client. He split that money with a surgeon and three other defendants.

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The boy, identified only by his surname Wang, confessed to selling his kidney after his mom asked him where his new Apple products came from. Prosecutors from Chenzhou, in the Hunan province, say that he now suffers from renal deficiency.

The worst part? Wang got a terrible deal. In China, iPhones start at 3,988 yuan ($633) and iPads 2,988 yuan ($474). Now, I’m no professor of economics, but that comes out to a combined $1,107. Even cut five ways, the amount the defendant got for the kidney was enough for a whole bunch of iPads and iPhones, not to mention a MacBook Air or two.

For a teen from one of China’s poorer provinces, however, finding $633 for a new iPhone might as well be impossible. Black market organ trading is apparently such a problem in China that the government was forced to officially ban the practice in 2007, according to China’s Xinhua News Agency.

MORE: iCan’t Believe It: Boy Reportedly Sells His Kidney to Buy an iPad

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