Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a liver tumor that usually arises in patients with cirrhosis. Hepatic stellate cells are key players in the progression of HCC, as they create a fibrotic micro-environment and produce growth factors and cytokines that enhance tumor cell proliferation and migration. We assessed the role of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress in the cross-talk between stellate cells and HCC cells. Mice with a fibrotic HCC were treated with the IRE1α-inhibitor 4μ8C, which reduced tumor burden and collagen deposition. By co-culturing HCC-cells with stellate cells, we found that HCC-cells activate IREα in stellate cells, thereby contributing to their activation. Inhibiting IRE1α blocked stellate cell activation, which then decreased proliferation and migration of tumor cells in different in vitro 2D and 3D co-cultures. In addition, we also observed cell-line-specific direct effects of inhibiting IRE1α in tumor cells.