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June 02, 2021

Teen sells kidney for iPad2: report

When a product hits the right nerve, consumers will do anything to get it.

Remember the Furby? The popular holiday toy was so in-demand during the weeks leading up to Christmas, 1998, that shoppers lucky enough to get one would buy the motorized pet for $35, then head outside where, since the lines were still so long to get into the store, sell it to fellow shoppers for hundreds of dollars.

Some people will do whatever it takes. But this?

In one of the more shocking news stories of 2011 not involving rub ‘n tugs and the NDP, China’s SZTV reports a teen sold his kidney for an iPad2 earlier this spring.

According to the TV station’s story, which has been picked up by media outlets worldwide, the 17-year-old was connected online with a “kidney-selling agent,” which appear to be in common numbers in China.

The dealer pledged to pay the high schooler a little more than $3,000 for one of his kidneys. The teen pledged to take deal.

By details featured in the Global Times, the boy traveled to a separate province of China for the operation, which was carried out under the supervision of “three so-called middlemen” at a hospital that has no qualifications for kidney transplantation.

All was well after the operation, the Times says, and the boy returned home with a laptop, iPhone and iPad 2, the tablet he reportedly underwent the procedure to buy.

Unconfirmed reports have claimed the teen’s health has since faltered since the operation.

Maybe so, but the story is nonetheless more bad PR for Apple out of China, and more bad PR for consumers everywhere.

By Jason Buckland, MSN Money

*Follow Jason on Twitter here.



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...