SINGAPORE: From dresses to handbags, diamonds to music downloads, consumers in Asia are taking to Internet shopping as never before, making the region one of the world’s fastest-growing e-commerce markets.

“I like to shop for clothes online because no sales girls will pester me,” said Cecelia Wang, a 23-year-old university student in Taipei who said she spent about 1,500 Taiwan dollars, about $43, each month on Internet purchases. “For online shopping, all I need to do is sit in my room and shop, which is great.”

Internet retailing is increasingly making its presence felt in Asia because telecommunications infrastructure has improved and payment, a major obstacle to online shopping, is increasingly secure, analysts say.

Internet penetration rates, the percentage of the population that has Internet access, is about 17 percent in Asia versus 73 percent in North America and almost 50 percent in Europe, according to

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