The Government and 10 SAR business and technology associations have announced an e-commerce adoption campaign to promote the use of the Internet among local businesses and the public. 'I hope through this campaign, we can encourage more Hong Kong people to adopt e-commerce and make online transactions,' said Christopher Cheng, chairman of the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce. 'I strongly believe when the general public truly understands the benefits of e-commerce, then sooner or later the general adoption of e-commerce will become inevitable.' Other organisations include the Hong Kong Information Technology Federation, American Chamber of Commerce, Hongkong Post, Hong Kong Society of Accountants, the Productivity Council and Office of the Telecommunications Authority. The campaign will begin next month to reach consumers during the Christmas season. The first phase will include a week-long 'Try it online' campaign to encourage consumers to try online services and shopping. Roadshows and exhibitions will be held from December 10 to 16. A Web site - tryitonline.com.hk - will be launched later this month, allowing companies to post promotional details and links to their online services. The second phase is due to start in the first half of next year, with the focus on business-to-business and government-to-business supply chains. A campaign spokesman said detailed plans would be released early next year. 'The Hong Kong Government has taken initial steps like the launching of e-cert and m-cert to promote e-commerce, but more has to be done among industry players,' said Charles Mok, chairman of the Hong Kong Information Technology Federation. 'There have been ongoing promotions from different firms to encourage e-commerce participation. But this time, I hope more awareness can be aroused with all the industry players doing it together - the message can be seen by both the enterprises and customers about the benefits of online trading and transactions.' According to Mr Cheng, Hong Kong lacks a strong online shopping culture. 'It is a major problem that e-commerce has not been as popular as it is with our Asian counterparts.' According to AC Nielsen, 26.2 per cent of Hong Kong families regularly use the Internet. Among those users, only 13 per cent - less than 4 per cent of the six million population - had used the Internet for online transactions. The situation is far different in South Korea and Taiwan, where respectively 78.7 per cent and 56.1 per cent of Internet users buy products or services online.