Chinese boy sells kidney to buy an iPad 2

“A 17-year-old student in Anhui Province sold one of his kidneys for 20,000 yuan only to buy an iPad 2. Now, with his health getting worse, the boy is feeling regret but it is too late, the Global Times reported today,” Pan Zheng reports for Shanghai Daily.

Zheng reports, “‘I wanted to buy an iPad 2 but could not afford it,’ said the boy surnamed Zheng in Huaishan City. ‘A broker contacted me on the Internet and said he could help me sell one kidney for 20,000 yuan.’ On April 28 Zheng went to Chenzhou City in neighboring Hunan Province for the kidney removal surgery arranged by the broker. His parents knew nothing about it, Zheng said.”

“When he returned home, his mother found out and reported to the police immediately. But they could not locate the broker whose cell phone was always powered off, the report said,” Zheng reports. “It turned out that the Chenzhou No. 198 Hospital was not qualified to perform organ transplant. The hospital claimed they had no idea about Zheng’s surgery because the department that did the surgery had been contracted to a Fujian businessman.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: That’s crazy! Who would part with a kidney for anything less than an iPad 3?

And, no, this most certainly isn’t what Steve Jobs had in mind when promoting organ donation.

Related article:
Apple CEO Steve Jobs joins Schwarzenegger to push California organ donor registry (w/ video) – March 19, 2010


  1. Dear MDN, please consider a different take.

    It’s a more sad story than funny. I wish the poor boy and the society that encourages this more sanity and hopefully he will regain health.

    Meanwhile, dear Apple, buy the kid next version of iPad before things may turn to something more awful than it already is.

  2. And you were worried about your kids sneaking off to get a tattoo.

    Seriously tragic story of criminals taking advantage of children. If the boy survives, Apple should send him each new iPad version for free.

      1. “Why not just steal one?” Sure, that’s the solution… Are you serious?! There is enough crime going on without suggesting that as the logical alternative to selling an organ.

        The *correct* answers to this dilemma are: (1) either live without the iPad, or (2) work and save for it.

        This whole story sounds very fishy to me, anyway.

    1. First of all, this “kid” was 17 years old. That is plenty old enough to know better than to sacrifice a kidney for an electronic entertainment device. Not too many decades ago, boys that age and younger were dying in the trenches of WWI and WWII. Go back some more decades and kids were getting married at age 13 and 14. There is nothing magical about becoming 18 years old that suddenly gives a person wisdom and common sense.

      I feel for the kid. But life can be tough and learning by experience is sometimes very painful.

  3. He got roughly $3016.41 in Canadian Dollars for his one kidney. In Canada he could buy 3 64g 3G. iPad 2 with smart covers. This a very sad story were materialistic needs out ways common sense. This young man could wind up having a shorter live span than the IPad 2.

  4. This is a really sad story. I mean Apple does such a great job making their product desirable that a child in a country of many poor people that could never afford something like this (not to mention China taxes the hell out all of their imports) and a kid just want’s a really cool piece of technology. I’d hope that Apple catches this story and does something privately (so that others wont try this) and helps that family out with medical needs. It’s the least a liberal company like Apple could do.

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