Chinese Couple Traded Their Baby For an iPhone

A young unemployed couple will face criminal punishment for allegedly "selling" their infant daughter and using the proceeds to go on an online shopping spree that included the purchase of an iPhone.

Identified only as Mr. Teng and Ms. Zhang, the couple posted anonymous newspaper advertisements for the child in June suggesting they would be willing to part with their then-unborn baby in exchange for up to 50,000 yuan (approximately $8,200). After the couple handed over the baby girl, they received a large cash payment and used the money to buy an iPhone, high-end sports shoes, and other goods.

They have been charged with human trafficking after accepting money for the baby who was only weeks old when she was sold after a home birth. According to prosecutors, the couple even attempted to disguise Zhang's pregnancy and told neighbors she was suffering from a tumor in order to explain the bump. The couple, however, reportedly told prosecutors that they were merely acting in their daughter's interests and tried to place her with a financially stable family.

"We did not give the baby away for money but in order to give it more security," they reportedly said.

Prosecutors, however, believe that the couple's bank records show the couple's "sinister conspiracy" to profit from their daughter's sale. One credit card bill shows that the couple spent large amounts of cash on the internet immediately after "trading" the baby.

This shocking behavior is not an isolated incident. Last year, several people were jailed for their involvement in the purchase of a 17-year-old boy's kidney in China's Hunan province. They used the money to buy an iPhone and an iPad. Often seen as a badge of wealth and sophistication by young consumers, the demand for Apple products in China has proven to be insatiable.

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Hyacinth Mascarenhas

Hyacinth is a graduate of the George Washington University where she majored in Journalism and Mass Communications. Her interests include cultural, social and political trends in the Middle East and South Asia, as well as human rights issues across the globe.

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