This work considers an uplink cloud radio access network (C-RAN), and proposes a MIMO spatial compression filtering and which compressed symbols to upload at RRH side as well as MIMO precoding at UE (user equipment) side. The error rate performance of this proposed scheme is analyzed and closed-form analytical results are obtained. Based on the analytical results, we propose solutions for the spatial compression filter, compressed symbols and UE precoder. Fronthaul loading can be significantly reduced by the proposed MIMO spatial compression filter and compressed symbols; meanwhile this proposed scheme can greatly outperform conventional schemes under the same settings of fronthaul loading. Moreover, when the UE has multiple antennas, the performance can further be significantly improved by using the proposed UE precoder. Simulation results are provided to show the accuracy of the analytical results as well as the advantages of the proposed solutions in terms of error rate performance and reduced fronthaul loading.