As a new class of endogenous noncoding RNAs, circular RNAs (circRNAs), have been found to influence cell development and function by sponging microRNAs. MicroRNA (miR)-198 is downregulated in various cancers, including hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). We therefore searched for dysregulated circRNAs that could sponge miR-198 in HCC. By analyzing relevant circRNA databases (circBase, TargetScan and CircInteractome), we found that the miR-198-binding circRNA hsa_circSP3 is upregulated in HCC. CircSP3 expression correlated negatively with miR-198 expression in HCC tissues. Dual luciferase reporter assays indicated that circSP3 bound to miR-198. CircSP3 overexpression in HCC cells induced expression of cyclin-dependent kinase 4, a target gene of miR-198. Silencing circSP3 inhibited HCC cell proliferation and migration by downregulating cyclin-dependent kinase 4, whereas inhibiting miR-198 reversed those effects. In vivo experiments confirmed that circSP3 promoted xenograft tumor growth. These data suggest that circSP3 may be a novel biomarker for HCC.