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Reed Hastings. Photo: Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for New York Times

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings gave a full-throated defense of the company’s decision to remove an episode of the show "Patriot Act With Hasan Minhaj" from its platform in Saudi Arabia after a complaint from the Saudi government about Minhaj's criticisms of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

"We're not in the news business. We're not trying to do 'truth to power.' We're trying to entertain."
— Hastings at the New York Times Dealbook conference

Why it matters: It’s another example of corporations attempting to walk the fine line of upholding values like free speech while also trying not to offend foreign governments that could put business at risk.

  • Most recently, the NBA apologized to Chinese fans for a tweet by Houston Rockets' general manager Daryl Morey that expressed support for the pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong.
  • Back in 2017, Snap removed Al Jazeera from its "Discover" news platform in Saudi Arabia after the government said the news organization "violated its media and cybercrime laws," per NBC News.

Of note: Earlier this year, Netflix told the New York Times: "We strongly support artistic freedom worldwide and only removed this episode in Saudi Arabia after we had received a valid legal request — and to comply with local law.”

The bottom line: Speaking at Web Summit in Lisbon, Edelman CEO Richard Edelman said that companies need to be global but locally minded and understand what rules exist in certain places to operate.

  • Yes, but: As companies depend more on international markets for growth, that might sometimes come at the expense of values that the same companies have touted in the U.S.

Go deeper: China's vise grip on corporate America

Go deeper

Updated 3 mins ago - World

Russia announces end to massive troop buildup near Ukraine

Russia's Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu (L) with President Vladimir Putin. Photo: Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

Russia's defense minister said Thursday that massive military exercises near the border with Ukraine had been completed, and that he had ordered troops to return to their permanent bases by May 1, according to state media.

Why it matters: Tens of thousands of troops and heavy military equipment had been moved to the border of eastern Ukraine and the annexed territory of Crimea over the last month, sparking fears of a potential Russian invasion.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
22 mins ago - Economy & Business

Private equity's other tax fight

Illustration: Rae Cook/Axios

Private equity is carefully watching the D.C. debate on corporate taxes, in which Senate Democrats seem to be settling on a 25% rate.

Zoom in: Marginal rates obviously matter, but for PE it's just an appetizer before the weedier work begins on issues like corporate interest deductibility.

Making sense of Biden's big emissions promise

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

President Biden's new U.S. emissions-cutting target is a sign of White House ambition and a number that distills the tough political and policy maneuvers needed to realize those aims.

Driving the news: This morning the White House unveiled a nonbinding goal under the Paris Agreement that calls for cutting U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 50%-52% by 2030 relative to 2005 levels.