Background The long noncoding RNA (lncRNA) JPX is a molecular switch for X-chromosome inactivation. Accumulating studies have shown that the aberrant expression and function of lncRNAs are involved in the occurrence and development of tumors. However, the functional importance and mechanism of the action of lncRNA JPX in cervical cancer (CC) remain unknown. Method In this study, qRT-PCR and western blotting were used to evaluate the mRNA or protein expression of JPX, miR-25-3p and SOX4 in CC tissues and cell lines. StarBase v2.0 database, luciferase reporter assay and RNA immunoprecipitation assay were used to explore the relationship between JPX and miR-25-3p. EdU assay, CCK-8 assay and transwell assay were utilized to evaluate the proliferation, migration and invasion of CC cells. The tumor xenograft assay in nude mice was performed to demonstrate the role of the JPX/miR-25-3p/SOX4 axis in CC. Results We found that JPX was markedly upregulated, whereas miR-25-3p was markedly downregulated in CC tissues and cell lines, and the expression of JPX was negatively correlated with miR-25-3p in CC tissues. Moreover, overexpression of JPX increased proliferation, migration and invasion of HeLa cells, whereas knockdown of JPX decreased proliferation, migration and invasion of HeLa cells. In contrast to JPX, overexpression of miR-25-3p decreased proliferation, migration and invasion of HeLa cells. In addition, knockdown of JPX was found to inhibit HeLa cell viability and tumor development via up-regulating the expression of miR-25-3p and inhibiting the expression of SOX4. Conclusions Our study demonstrates that JPX promotes cervical cancer progression through modulating the miR-25-3p/SOX4 axis, and may serve as a potential target for CC therapy.