Chinese authorities are poised to reduce its imposed fine against the Ant's Group to about $728 million, which is about a quarter less than the initial plan according to a Reuters report, citing unnamed sources.
The regulators earlier planned to fine the company over $1 billion for alleged violations related to a "disorderly expansion of capital."
Authorities are now also looking to soften the wording of their charges against Ant citing "financial risks and operating certain businesses without proper licenses" as triggers for the fine, per the report.
The reduction in the fine may be part of a broader effort by Chinese authorities to ease their crackdown on Chinese private technology firms and boost the country's economy, which has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The fine reduction could also help Ant Group secure a financial holding company license and eventually revive its plans for a market debut after the regulatory body scrapped its $37 billion IPO in 2020.
Overall, the anticipated fine reduction in the fine could be viewed as a positive development for Ant Group and the broader technology sector in China after years of the crackdown.
Ant's fine is one of the largest regulatory penalties imposed on a Chinese internet company since ride-hailing major Didi Global was fined $1.2 billion by China's cybersecurity regulator in 2022 and Alibaba Group's $2.51 billion for antitrust violations. Although the exact amount of the fine is still subject to change.