PRICE Waterhouse has taken a step forward in exploring the growing China market with the opening yesterday of its accounting joint venture in Shanghai. The joint venture, Price Waterhouse Da Hua Certified Public Accountants, will provide a foothold for Price Waterhouse to penetrate China's accounting business, which is restricted to mainland accountants only. The Shanghai partner is Da Hua Certified Public Accountants, which was formed by the Shanghai University of Finance and Economics in 1985. Mr David Humann, Price Waterhouse partner responsible for the Asia-Pacific region, said the joint venture would provide a full range of services, from audit, tax services to management consultancy to international and local clients. He said Price Waterhouse would encourage its clients to invest in Shanghai and the rest of China. Mr Tang Yunwei, director of Da Hua, said at a reception in Shanghai yesterday the joint venture would offer enhanced accounting services, which could fuel the business and economic growth of Shanghai. Price Waterhouse Da Hua, which is chaired by Mr Tang, has recruited 30 accounting graduates from academic institutions including Fudan University and Shanghai International Studies University. Besides Price Waterhouse, other accounting giants including Deloitte Ross Tohmatsu, Coopers and Lybrand, KPMG Peat Marwick, Arthur Anderson & Co, and Ernst & Young have also launched joint ventures in China. China needs assistance and advice from international accounting firms to improve its fledgeling accounting industry, which was reborn in 1981 after an absence of 30 years. The rapid increase in the number of foreign-fund firms and stockholding enterprises has given rise to stronger demand for auditing, accounting, asset valuation and other related services.