Liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) are fatal sequelaes of chronic hepatitis B in China. The sera from HCC and cirrhosis were profiled by rapid resolution liquid chromatography coupled with quadrupole time-of-flight (Q-TOF) mass spectrometry. Reversed-phased (RP) liquid chromatography and hydrophilic interaction chromatography (HILIC) were used for the data acquisition. The normalized and combined data were handled by chemometric analysis, and the combination proved to be effective and reliable for the orthogonal projection to latent structures (OPLS) analysis. Metabonomic profiles and the potential biomarkers were found based on the OPLS models. Shared and unique structure (SUS) plots were used for the evaluation of the potential biomarkers. Glycocholic acid, glycochenodeoxycholic acid, taurocholic acid and taurochenodesoxycholic acid were found to be potential biomarkers related to liver cirrhosis, while dihydrosphingosine and phytosphingosine were potential diagnostic biomarkers of HCC. The other identified metabolites were considered as common potential biomarkers for the two liver diseases. Correlation networks based on these metabolites were also built for the systemic understanding of these diseases and the possible biological implications are discussed. This metabonomic approach may provide insight into discovery and identification of new diagnostic biomarkers for liver cancer and associated diseases.