Released by Chinese web giant Tencent in 2011, WeChat is the largest standalone messaging app in the world by monthly users, with more than 500 million people, primarily in China, using the app on a regular basis. Originally confined to text messaging, WeChat has grown into an app platform, with gaming, payment, and social networking functions.

A picture illustration shows a WeChat app icon in Beijing, in this December 5, 2013 file picture. To match CHINA-SOCIALMEDIA/ REUTERS/Petar Kujundzic/Files

What you should know about heading a WeChat group

WeChat has become an extremely popular way for people in the mainland to communicate, and people (and companies) in Hong Kong use it to reach out to mainland friends and the mainland market.

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