The 17-year-old boy, identified only by his surname Wang, was approached in an online chatroom and paid 22,000 yuan (£2,200) for his kidney to be used in an illegal transplant operation, the Xinhua News Agency said.
The teen now suffers from renal deficiency and his health is deteriorating, according to prosecutors in Chenzhou city, Hunan province.
Five people from southern China have been charged with intentional injury and illegal organ trading, including the surgeon who removed the boy’s kidney in April 2011.
According to the Xinhua, one of the accused was paid 220,000 yuan (£22,000) to arrange the transplant. He paid the boy 22,000 yuan (£2,200) and shared the remaining profit with the surgeon, the three other defendants and other medical staff.
The media reports gave no indication of who paid for and received the kidney.
The boy is from Anhui, one of China’s poorest provinces where people frequently leave to find better jobs.
The boy’s mother discovered that her son had sold his kidney when she enquired about his new iPad and iPhone.
Apple products are extremely popular in China, but are priced too high for many Chinese. In China iPhones start at 3,988 yuan (£400), and iPads begin at 2,988 yuan (£300).
Black market organ trading is becoming more rampant as the disparity between the number of kidneys available and the number of Chinese needing transplants grows.
Health ministry statistics show that about 1.5 million people in China need transplants, but only around 10,000 transplants are performed annually.
Executed prisoners remain the main source of organs used in transplant operations, Vice Health Minister Huang Jiefu was quoted by state media as saying last month. He added that this was because few Chinese people voluntarily donate their organs for operations.
As a result, only a fraction of the Chinese people in need of transplants are able to get them, which leads to “transplant tourism” where patients travel overseas for such operations. China banned the trading of human organs in 2007, Xinhua said.