Hi there, firstly, welcome to our country, I believe you will have a wonderful experience and will enjoy the culture shock as well. I am a college student from China, and currently studying in US.
Okay, let me answer your questions one by one.
1) It is not that easy for a foreigner to rent a apartment in China, especially in regular cities, by regular I mean all the NOT top developed cities, such as Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzheng, Hangzhou ,etc. In the regular cities, the landlords wont deal business with foreigners as they dont speak English at all. In the developed cities, I would like to say, you can find housing easily in hotels or hostels, but if you want to rent for couple months, it is generally hard, as people usually sign lease for 1 year etc, and you actually need company or things like that to sponsor your rent, there is paper works to do for renting, and I did before whiling interning in a International firms. Of course you can get "unofficially" sublet or rent from random people without registration, but they are generally dangerous. So my suggestion is, find a company that can sponsor you before you go, such as language education firms(they hire a lot of foreigners and you usually get good pay as foreigner). Then they will have people to take care of all your paper work.
2) If you want to make money as a foreigner, like what I mentioned before, the best way is always teach your native language, which is easy and highly paid.
3) You need a bicycle? Buy one, $15 from black market will get you a regular using, $50 will get you a brand new finely working bike. If you want to do used or black market, find some native speaker with you, or you will pay a lot and still geting shit.
4) Need tips? shot me email, I am really friendly and speak OKAY English, I guess.
thanks for the info, I booked 3 days in a hostel, then try my luck from there
I ride bikes everyday so I think I can check for a good one before buying, but will try to follow your advice.
Dont worry about the english, mine is not that world class either
I arrive @ beijing may 08, it would be nice to exchange some bitcoins for yuans, anyone?