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China puts 9 on trial after teen sells kidney to pay for an iPhone

The trial of nine people charged in a case involving a teenager who sold his kidney to purchase an iPad and iPhone concluded in a Chinese court on Friday, according to state media.

The defendants included the surgeon who allegedly removed the kidney from the 17-year-old, identified only by his surname, Wang, and eight others who are accused of helping to plan and carry out the scheme.


The verdict would be announced at a later date, state-run Xinhua reported.

'Gambling debts'
Prosecutors in the Beihu District of Chenzhou, Hunan province, have accused defendant He Wei of arranging the transplant last year via Internet chat rooms. He was described by Xinhua as "penniless and frustrated over gambling debts."

Chinese man wakes up — minus his kidney

The doctor, Song Zhongyu, from a provincial hospital in Yunan province, allegedly transplanted Wang’s kidney to a recipient in April 2012, Xinhua said. Wang later suffered renal failure, the report said.

The defendant earned a little under $9,000 in the deal, Xinhua said. Another defendant, Su Kaizong, the contractor of the urology department of the hospital, earned around $9,500; Song, the surgeon, earned a little over $8,000; and other defendants involved in the scheme earned lesser amounts, Xinhua said.

Read more about China on Behind the Wall from NBC News

Wang, the young patient, was given around $3,500 upon leaving the hospital, according to the news service.

The incident came to light after Wang returned home and his mother demanded to know where he got the money to pay for an iPhone and iPad, Xinhua said. At that point, Wang confessed, Xinhua said.

Among the others arrested were two nurses, a surgical assistant and an anesthesiologist, Xinhua said.

China puts cops on trial for 'bending the law' to help wife of ousted politician

After the indictment was read in court on Thursday, Wang's attorney requested about $356,000 in compensation, the news agency said.

July 20, 2011: Several fake Apple stores have been popping up abroad, in locations such as China and Ecuador. The stores have all the characteristics of a legitimate Apple outlet, except they're not owned by the tech giant. Brian Williams reports.

The British Broadcasting Corp. said the defendants face up to 10 years in prison if found guilty.

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Huge popularity
Apple products are extremely popular in China, but their price tags tend to be too high for most workers to afford.

Products such as the iPhone and the iPad have quickly become must-have accessories for the country's youth and business elite in cities such as Beijing and Shanghai.

From 2011: Entire fake Apple shop found in China

Last year, the Cupertino, Calif., company's chief financial officer was quoted as saying that of all the Apple outlets in the world, the China stores clock on average the highest traffic and highest revenue.

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