This time he’s doling out the dough on YouTube it seems.

Many probably recall last New Year’s when Yusaku Maezawa, the CEO of online clothing retailer Zozotown, surprised the world by suddenly offering to give away one million yen (US$9,136) to 100 random people who followed his Twitter account and retweeted his message. As a result, his offer had become the most retweeted tweet ever.

However, since then, 2019 has been a rocky year for the billionaire. He stepped down as head of Zozotown amid financial difficulties in the company, and his relationship with actress Ayame Goriki ended.

But despite his broken heart and current unemployment, Maezawa seems to remain upbeat. In yet another surprise tweet, Maezawa announced that he will once again be giving out “otoshidama which are traditional New Year’s gifts of cash.

“[Info] 2020 #MaezawaOtoshidama are ready. The total amount is powered up to ? billion yen and will start on New Year’s Day. Details will be announced on my YouTube so please click below and subscribe to it.”

Short but sweet, and though he doesn’t say the exact number, his tweet strongly suggests that it’s in the order of billions of yen which would equate to tens of millions of US dollars. That’s considerably more than last year’s 100 million yen total, but it’s unclear whether this will mean more people will win the same amount of money or the same amount of people will win more money.

And it seems that this year, instead of boosting his Twitter following, Maezawa plans to give his recently started YouTube channel a shot in the arm with an influx of subscribers – which is wise considering that’s a much more monetizable social media account.

However, reaction online has been largely critical of the offer.

“Again with the money? Is that all he ever talks about?”
“Not again. Don’t waste your money. You don’t have a company anymore.”
“I guess he can’t get people’s attention without paying them.”
“This is the same as just dumping cash from an overpass.”
“Donate it to charity, or better yet start another business and help society by creating jobs.”
“No thanks. I’m not your dancing monkey.”
“Great, now my timeline is going to be full of this guy’s retweets.”
“Give it to people who lost their homes in typhoons.”

As Yu Darvish recently pointed out, it’s not really our place to tell other people how to spend their own money. Also, it would certainly seem that this is some kind of scheme to get a lot of buzz going for whatever he plans to do in 2020, even if that plan is just pivoting to professional YouTuber.

Then again, maybe there is no endgame to this gesture. Maezawa has a growing track record of seemingly well-intentioned but not-well-thought-out ideas. Remember that he’s the guy who bought a billion-yen violin to enrich children’s music education, rather than just, you know, enriching children’s music education with a billion yen directly. He’s also the guy who promised to give away an amazingly futuristic size-detecting suit, only to realize it wasn’t feasible and then force everyone who ordered one to accept a polka-dot leotard instead.

Regardless of whether this is a cunning business strategy or desperate plea for attention, it’s set to blow on 1 January. So be sure to subscribe to his YouTube channel if you want a chance to get a traditional Japanese gift from the least traditional Japanese businessman.

Source: Twitter/@yousuck2020, My Game News Flash
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