Are there ATMs at Kunming Airport from which one can obtain cash using a MasterCard debit card upon arrival?
Cannot tell you for 100% sure, but I think so. Visa cards are more popular here and are more often linked to Mainland China ATM payment networks. You will probably have to just try several.
If you wind up needing to exchange some AUD, that can be done at one of the exchange kiosks. There are several, but the easiest to find are located at the outside wall of the luggage claim hall.
To be frank, this is something I never do because I live here and always have some local money in my pocket.
I suppose the other thing you could do would be to ask your card's issuing bank whether or not they have an arrangement with the China Union Pay system that would allow you to use your card at ATM's here. China Union Pay is the ATM consortium most prevalent by far in China.
Sometimes (often) Chinese ATM's have a Plus or Cirrus sticker on them in addition to Union Pay. This signals some level of co-operation, and your card should work there.
So far I check is that most of the ATMs in China can accept Visa or MasterCard cash withdrawal.
Strongly recommend to apply an account from Bank of China Australia and get a China UnionPay branded debit card. You have visit the branches in Melbourne in person.
For the benefit of other travellers, may I report my experience of obtaining cash at Kunming Airport.
I didn't open a special account as was recommended but used my transaction account back in Australia. I found that in the set of ATMs provided by Bank of Communications in the arrivals area there is at least one that accepts MasterCard debit cards. I was uncertain about the maximum amount of cash I could withdraw at one time. However, the ATM showed a range of options up to the maximum during the process of making the withdrawal.
Glad you found an ATM. Thanks for returning with the information.
Most ATM's, whatever the "brand" here in Kunming will dispense a maximum of either 3,000 Yuan or 5,000 Yuan per transaction. One can do several transactions, right after each other, up to the 24-hour limit set by your home bank.