Our niece uses We Chat, used by eight million people, to share text, pictures, video and phone calls. She likes the fact that it uses less of her phone’s data plan and saves her money.

WeChat is something like Facebook, but users tend to keep their circle to a closer group of friends and family. In China, people use it to hail a taxi, order food, buy movie tickets, play games, check in for a flight, send money to friends, book a doctor’s appointment, do online banking and just about anything that takes place online. It’s as if they leapfrogged the computer and went straight to phone apps.

We installed it on our Android phone but no one else we know is on it. One caveat: The company can see your text messages and contact lists. So if you have anything to hide, don’t use it.

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