Five people in China have been charged with intentional injury after a boy sold one of his kidneys to buy an iPad and an iPhone, the Chinese media reported.

Those detained include Song Zhongyu, a surgeon from a provincial hospital in Yunnan province, who conducted the kidney transplant and other conspirators He Wei, Yin Shen, Tang Shimin, Su Kaizong who were all involved in this illegal trading, reported the government-run Xinhua news agency.

The surgeon received about 220,000 yuan (£22,000) for the transplant but gave just 22,000 yuan(£2,200) to the 17-year-old boy identified by his surname Wang.

The remaining money was shared with the other four defendants and several other medical staff involved in the transplant, reported the news agency.

The boy who lives in Anhui, one of China's poorest provinces, is now suffering from renal failure and his health is deteriorating. He agreed to get operated in April 2011 without his parents' consent.

The incident came to light when the boy's mother questioned him on how he got the money to buy the Apple gadgets. Wang confessed to his mother that he sold his kidney to a group who approached him in an online chat room to buy the gadgets.

The group behind the operation has now been charged with causing intentional injury and illegal organ trading. Several other suspects involved in the case are still being investigated.

Illegal trading has been banned in China since 2007. But official statistics have shown that about 1.5 million people in China need transplants, but only around 10,000 transplants are performed annually. The huge gap has led to a thriving illegal market for organs, reported the news agency.

Prisoners who get executed have often been used as a source of organs in transplant operations due to lack of voluntary donations, but last month China vowed to phase this out over the next five years, reported the BBC.

China is the second largest market for Apple products. Apple's iPad and iPhone are hugely popular but the products are priced heavily; iPhones start at 3,988 yuan (£400) and the iPads begin at 2,988 yuan (£190), that many Chinese cannot afford.