By Chris Gallagher
TOKYO (Reuters) – SoftBank founder Masayoshi Son may not be the most prolific Twitter user, but he has ended a three-year absence on the platform to express concern about the coronavirus outbreak, telling followers that he would “take action.”
“It’s my first tweet in a long time. I am worried about the coronavirus situation,” Son (@masason) said late on Tuesday in his first tweet since February 2017 – which itself came about 18 months after the preceding tweet.
“I am considering what contribution I can make,” the SoftBank Group Corp chief executive said in response to a follower who asked him to use his power to do something about the outbreak.
“I will start to take action,” Son said without elaborating in a follow-up tweet on Wednesday, which garnered over 10,000 likes and 3,000 retweets in its first hour.
SoftBank representatives were not immediately able to comment about Son’s tweets.
Many of Son’s past tweets are company-focused although it was not his first time to touch on societal issues. In 2014, he tweeted a video of his participation in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, which he had accepted from Foxconn founder Terry Gou.
The coronavirus has spread around the world, with more than 116,000 confirmed cases and 4,000 deaths.
Japan has reported close to 1,300 infections, with more than half coming from the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship, and 19 deaths.
(Reporting by Chris Gallagher; Editing by Christopher Cushing & Shri Navaratnam)