Telnic announced in June 2008 that it would start accepting applications from trademark owners from December in preparation for a March 2009 launch. And, as iTWire noted at the time "Owners and licensees of national trademarks may apply, and allocation will be on a first-come, first-served basis. This presents the opportunity for small companies in unrelated areas to nab the .tel names of global companies."
Telnic intends that .tel will be a one-stop shop where individuals and organisations will be able to provide a range of contact information. According to Telnic it will allow anyone to publish and control, in real time, how they can be reached. It will enable people to reach a business from any Internet enabled device (computer or mobile) simply by typing, for example, 'Hertz.tel'.
Telnic makes no comment on whether Baidu China made a considered decision not to go for Baidu.tel. However it would seem likely that an organisation of its size would want to cover every possible Internet access route.
According to Wikipedia "Baidu is the leading Chinese search engine for websites, audio files, and images. Baidu offers 57 search and community services including an online collaboratively-built encyclopaedia and a searchable keyword-based discussion forum. As of 21 March 2008, Baidu is ranked 19th overall in Alexa's internet rankings. In December 2007 Baidu became the first Chinese company to be included in the NASDAQ-100 index. Baidu provides an index of over 740 million web pages, 80 million images, and 10 million multimedia files. The domain baidu.com attracted at least 5.5 million visitors annually by 2008 according to Compete.com."