Chinese boy sells kidney to buy iPad 2

Apple products like the iPad2 have become a symbol of wealth for many young Chinese. (AFP)Apple products like the iPad2 have become a symbol of wealth for many young Chinese.  …

A 17-year-old student from China sold his kidney for 20,000 yuan (S$3,800) to buy a laptop and an iPad 2.

Zheng Xiao, who initially did not have the money to buy the gadgets, said in an interview with Shenzhen TV: "When I surfed the internet I found an advert posted online by (an) agent saying they are able to pay RMB20,000 to buy a kidney."

After negotiations, the boy travelled to the city of Chenzhou in Hunan Province where he met three men, who were supposedly part of an organ selling syndicate, at a hospital on 28 April to remove his kidney.

Three days after his surgery, coming home with a laptop and an iPad in hand, he confessed to his mother, who demanded to know how he had raised the money for his gadgets.

She then brought her son back to Chenzhou to report the case to the police. The agents whom the boy met could not be contacted as their phones were switched off.

The boy, expressing remorse over his actions, said that he was suffering from complications and his health has worsened after the kidney removal.

Despite the Chinese government's repeated attempts at stopping illegal online organ trading, it is still common in China. Last year, there were reports of Japanese "transplant tourists" going to China and paying £50,000 for new kidneys.

This latest case, which sparked a furore among Chinese netizens, was cited by some as an extreme example of increasing materialism in modern China.

Popular Apple gadgets like the iPhone and the iPad are seen as a symbol of wealth and modernity especially among young consumers.

Last month,  fights broke out outside several Beijing Apple Stores as desperate shoppers queued to buy the newly launched iPad2 and white iPhone4.

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