The high school student from Anhui Province, Xiao Zhang, confessed to his mother that he was motivated to sell the kidney after seeing an internet ad offering cash to people who were prepared to become organ donors, the Global Times reported. His mother had discovered the iPad 2 and forced him to reveal how he was able to afford it.
"I wanted to buy an iPad 2, but I didn't have the money," the boy told Shenzhen TV. He also bought an iPhone and a laptop with the proceeds from the sale, his mother said.
Chenzhou 198 Hospital in Hunan Province, where the boy reportedly had his surgery, does not have qualifications for kidney transplantation. It has denied any connection with the organ removal but has admitted contracting out its urology department to a private businessman.
The buying and selling of organs is a growing issue in China and the government has so far failed to stamp out the practice. There have been many reports of "transplant tourists" who come from rich countries to buy much-needed organs from poor, desperate people.
The blackmarket trade is driven by the fact that there are many times more people waiting for organs than there are legitimate donors.
Zheng's mother told Shenzhen TV that she took her son to report the matter to police but the agents who had organised the organ trade were uncontactable. Police are reportedly trying to track down the buyers.