China set to fine Ant Group over $1 bln - sources

STORY: China is lining up a $1 billion fine for Jack Ma's Ant Group.

That's according to six sources close to the matter.

It would set the stage for ending a two-year regulatory overhaul of the financial technology company.

The People's Bank of China is the regulator readying the fine, according to sources.

It has driven the revamp of Ant since the firm's $37 billion IPO was cancelled at the last minute two years ago.

The central bank has been in contact with Ant about the fine over the past few months, the sources added.

One source also said it plans to hold more discussions with other regulators about the revamp in the coming months, and announce a fine as soon as the second quarter next year.

A fine on Ant could bring closure, and help the company secure a long-awaited financial holding company license.

It may also help it eventually revive its plans for a public market debut.

The firm's affiliate Alibaba received a record fine of around $2.5 billion for antitrust violations last year.

The penalties are part of Beijing's sweeping crackdown on the country's tech giants.

But Chinese authorities have softened their tone on the crackdown in recent months.

That as the country tries to help an economy hit hard by the global health crisis.

Ant and the People's Bank did not respond to Reuters' requests for comment.