Stacy Robertson
Stacy Robertson
May 4, 2024 ·  2 min read

Teenager Bedridden for Life After Making a Sale on the Black Market to Afford The Latest Apple Products

This article was originally published in February 2019 and has since been updated.

What would you do for access to the latest tech products? Hopefully not as far as the teenager who sold his kidney on the black market in order to buy the latest Apple products.

When Wang Shangkun was 17 years old he made a fateful decision to take part in an illegal surgery to sell one of his kidneys to an investor for $4,000. With that, he purchased an iPhone and an iPad. “Why do I need two kidneys? One is enough”.

Shortly after the surgery, he began inevitably suffering from decreased kidney function, and now, eight years later, the now 25-year old is bedridden for life and requires daily dialysis after his remaining kidney failed.

This illegal surgery caused him to develop renal deficiency, which is believed to have led to an infection due to the unsanitary setting where it took place and the apparent lack of post-operative care, Mirror UK reported.

Wang had been in contact with the alleged harvesters through internet chat rooms, and the operation was reportedly undertaken by two doctors that were also employed at local hospitals.

“When I was on the internet, I had a kidney agent send a message, saying that selling a kidney can give me $20,000.” While he was only said to receive $4,000 AUD, as the rest was divided among the gang. Taking into account years of inflation, this would only amount to approximately $3,200 USD today.

His family lived in one of China’s poorest provinces and could not afford the luxuries he wanted, so 17-year old Wang turned to other means to raise the money.

Nine people were arrested in connection with the case, and five, including the surgeons who harvested his kidney, were jailed. His family was eventually awarded about $300,000 in compensation later the same year, The Mirror reported.


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