We’re about a day late with this story that’s tearing up the Chinese Internet: a 17-year-old boy sold his kidney for 22,000 yuan in Anhui province, then used the money to buy an iPad2 and iPhone (model unspecified). The AP writes, rather understatedly, “The case has prompted an outpouring of concern that not enough is being done to guard against the negative impact of increasing consumerism in Chinese society.”
It appears that Xinhua broke the story on Friday evening, with this disturbing detail: “Wang now suffers from renal insufficiency and his condition is deteriorating.”
Recently, five people were indicted in relation to this, including the surgeon. In all, Xinhua reports 220,000 yuan was exchanged for the kidney, with only 10 percent going to the person actually supplying that organ.
Of course, we’re obliged to point out this isn’t an isolated case — it would be too much to call it a trend, but as AP notes,
The Southern Daily newspaper reported last month that other individuals have sold, or seriously considered selling, their kidneys to earn money for reasons that included paying off large debts, making a payment on a smartphone, or paying for an abortion for a girlfriend.
“Without facing complete hardship, these young people born after the 1990s made rash decisions. In the choice between their bodies and materialism, they resolutely chose the latter,” the official Communist Party newspaper Guangming Daily said in an editorial late last month about the Southern Daily report.
Still, I think it bears repeating that a 17-year-old kid in Anhui province just sold one of his vital organs for two Apple products. Let that statement simmer a little in your conscience.