Electronic commerce appears ready to take off in Taiwan, according to a recent survey by global market research firm Taylor Nelson Sofres (TNS). About 20 per cent of Taiwanese aged between 15 and 60 regularly access the Internet, with 85 per cent of that group having access from home, TNS said. It surveyed 400 active users and found that about 25 per cent intended to start buying products on-line, in contrast to the 5 per cent doing so now. Respondents showed most interest in purchasing books and magazines, cinema tickets, software, travel accommodation, gifts and music. This potential for e-commerce growth highlighted tremendous opportunities for Internet service providers, Web-page designers and financial institutions that move their services on-line, TNS said. This was underscored by the expectation that 33 per cent of the population not yet using the Internet will be on-line within the next six months. Illustrating the rapid growth already under way, Taiwanese companies last year spent 242 per cent more on Web advertising than in 1997, according to the government's Institute for Information Industry. TNS said concerns over transaction security, product quality and the sense it is an unfulfilling shopping experience are the main reasons Taiwanese had been reluctant to buy on-line. It believes these largely psychological issues can be easily overcome.