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The 17-year-old boy, identified only by his surname Wang, was approached in an online chatroom and paid 22,000 yuan (£2,200) for his kidney to be used in an illegal transplant operation, the Xinhua News Agency said.
The teen now suffers from renal deficiency and his health is deteriorating, according to prosecutors in Chenzhou city, Hunan province.
According to the Xinhua, one of the accused was paid 220,000 yuan (£22,000) to arrange the transplant. He paid the boy 22,000 yuan (£2,200) and shared the remaining profit with the surgeon, the three other defendants and other medical staff.
The boy’s mother discovered that her son had sold his kidney when she enquired about his new iPad and iPhone.
Only a fraction of the Chinese people in need of transplants are able to get them, which leads to “transplant tourism” where patients travel overseas for such operations. China banned the trading of human organs in 2007, Xinhua said.
Black market organ trading is becoming more rampant as the disparity between the number of kidneys available and the number of Chinese needing transplants grows.